BREAKING: Judges in Geert Wilders' Free Speech Case Removed from Trial (UPDATED)
The trial of Dutch MP Geert Wilders will have an encore.
In the conclusion to a bizarre trial -- in which the prosecution already called for the acquittal of the defendant -- Wilders' lawyer Abraham Moszkowicz today asked for dismissal of the three judges, and his request was approved by the dismissal commission of the court. Now, the trial will have to start over from the beginning.
Moszkowicz asked for a dismissal after the three judges refused to allow Dr. Hans Jansen to testify regarding a discussion he had with one of the judges of a higher court that ordered the prosecution of Wilders.
In May, Dr. Jansen was invited to attend a dinner party together with one of the higher court judges. This judge started discussing the Wilders trial, and his order to prosecute, with Dr. Jansen. Jansen revealed this on his personal blog last Wednesday. Moszkowicz wanted the judges to hear, in court, Dr. Jansen's impression of this discussion.
Dr. Jansen had testified earlier in this case in a closed setting. Dr. Jansen is one of the foremost Islam experts in the Netherlands. (As is the case in the U.S., judges are not permitted to discuss a case outside the court -- especially with an expert witness for the case.)
The court refused Moszkowicz' request to hear Dr. Jansen. Moszkowicz subsequently asked for dismissal of this court, and after a short session the dismissal commission agreed with him.
Now the trial has been postponed for several months and the news of the activist judge of the higher court has captured today's headlines in the Netherlands.
UPDATE: On Monday night, May 3, a dinner party was hosted by Bertus Hendriks, a well-known pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist journalist and activist in the Netherlands. His guests were a group of friends from various backgrounds, but each one of them belonged to Dutch left-liberal communities.
Professor Dr. Hans Jansen, one of the foremost Islam experts in Holland, a vocal critic of Islamism, and a celebrated translator of the Koran himself, was invited by Hendriks. Hendriks and Jansen belong to opposing ideological groups, but they maintain a cordial relationship.
On his blog published Wednesday, October 20, Dr. Jansen writes about Hendriks: "Bertus once explained to me that he didn’t care that much for the Palestinian problem. It was more, he explained to me since I am a 'bourgeois element of a passed generation' that the Palestinian fate could expose the global structures of exploitation. In other words, he is a friend whose invitation for a dinner party cannot be neglected."