Stunning development: the Wilders trial has been adjourned for four months—correction: for up to nine months

The Dutch blogger Snouck Hurgronje (the name of a famous Dutch Islam scholar of the early 20th century) writes:

You wrote:

“Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be any news on any proceedings in the Geert Wilders trial for today, February 4, neither at Gates of Vienna, nor at the Wilders on Trial website.”

The court has requested Mr. Geert Wilders to provide verhinderdata (can’t-make-it-dates) from the three witnesses whom he’s been permitted to call. The trial will resume in June if I am not mistaken. My notes say three to four months from now.

See how considerate and reasonable those who-have-been-appointed-over-us are, you cowboys?

LA replies:

Thanks for this information, which is entirely unexpected. I had no idea that the trial, which began less than two days ago, was about to adjourn for four months. I thought that the January 20 session had been a preliminary, procedural session, and that the trial proper had begun on February 3, as various sites including VFR reported on February 3. Everyone was geared up for the big event, which now we learn won’t take place until the summer, if then. I can’t imagine why this basic information was not reported or mentioned at any of the interested websites. And, by the way, what basis do we have for criticizing the American media’s non-coverage of the trial, when the trial won’t begin until June?

If there had to be a delay of four months in order to schedule the testimony of three witnesses, then it would not be unreasonable to suppose that if all of Wilders’s eighteen proposed witnesses had been accepted, there would have been a delay of twenty-four months. A distant observer may be forgiven for thinking that the Wilders trial is shaping up to be the Dutch equivalent of the interminable case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House.

LA continues:

I’ve asked Snouck where he got the information that the trial had been adjourned until June, since I see no hint of that at any of the sites that are linked here.

Snouck writes:

This information was provided in the hearing. The full hearing in Dutch was put on the internet by the NOS (Dutch State Broadcasting) here at the end. I have not seen a full transcript in Dutch or English.

However, I made a mistake. Apologies. I listened to the last part of the hearing again and the trial will take place between 1st of June and 31 October. Not in June. The exact date will depend on the availability of the witnesses.

LA replies:

Unbelievable. So it will take place in June at the earliest.

Did the court give a reason for this enormous delay? Since when does it take up to nine months (from February 3 to October 31) to schedule the appearance of a a couple of witnesses at a trial? And if it takes this long to find a time when three witnesses can appear together, then a trial with 20 or 30 witnesses would take years.

And were the parties to the trial surprised by this announcement of the judges? Didn’t they think that the trial had begun and was not about to be adjourned for between four and nine months?

And why do you think that neither the news services nor the Wilders website reported this information?

Also, when did the judges make this announcement? On Wednesday the third, or on Thursday the fourth?

Snouck replies:
The announcement was made in the hearing on Wednesday the third. It was published on TV by the NOS and on the NOS website.

Snouck continues:

I am embarrassing myself. It is NOT in June the earliest. It is between 1st of July and 31 October.

The reason given is that one of the scientists (Wafa Sultan) has to come from a foreign country.

Mr. Wilders was angry about something. I do not think it is the delay though. He mentioned to the press his anger over the turning down of his requests for witnesses and experts. He said the Court does not want to hear the truth.

Other facts. The court says the trial will take five days when it will be held. Mr. Wilders may request more time. The Court might grant the request. Some part of it will be heard by a Rechter-Commissaris, a Court functionary. I do not fully grasp why or what that implies. Also the Court has yet to take decision on the status of the experts Mrs. Sultan, Mr. Jansen and Mr. Admiraal. Right now they call the experts “scientists.”

I do not know why the website of Mr. Wilders did not post the information. They seem to be posting mostly video. The PVV (Freedom Party) organisation is quite small and underfunded. I can speculate they are hard pressed to provide transcripts and translations.

LA replies:

Today is the fifth. The trial began on the third. I am dumbfounded that none of the reports about the first day of the trial—which were posted on the third—mentioned the adjournment.

In any case, now we now why, as I pointed out in an earlier entry, there was no news about the second day of the trial. There WAS no second day of the trial. But, notwithstanding all the attention that was focused on the trial, no one had told us that.

Paul Belien writes:

As I said in my previous email: court cases being adjourned for several months (sometimes years) is not unusual in Europe.

Europeans have waiting lists when they want to see the doctor, and they have to wait when they want to see a judge.

My guess is that in order to avoid Wilders electorally benefiting from a conviction, the Dutch establishment will try to delay the verdict until after the next general elections. The elections are due in June 2011 at the latest, but the general expectation is that they will take place this Fall.

LA replies:

Ok, but this still doesn’t explain why this information was not reported anywhere. Not at Wilders’s site. Not at GoV. Not in any news media source. It’s surreal.

And then the news only comes from a Dutch blogger who saw the Dutch TV broadcast of the trial and wrote to me about it, a day and a half after the various reports on the first day of the trial had been posted.

We were all treating with great importance, and got into a pitch of intensity about, this historic and fateful trial that was starting. And now it turns out that it’s not starting at all, and may not start for another nine months.

Paul Belien replies:

It was not reported because Europeans consider this to be normal. That is how courts work over here: as soon as it suits the court, they will send Wilders a message telling him when to come to court again. It may be next June, It may be next October, who knows.

(And GoV did not report it because they translate info which they get from Europe.)

You get annoyed and frustrated, but that is what the authorities hope to achieve: they want to get you so annoyed and frustrated that you just give up.

LA replies:

Yes, your explanation of the authorities’ modus operandi makes sense.

But that still doesn’t explain why Wilders’s site did not report this. Wilders’s supporters in America and England and elsewhere were closely following the trial. Didn’t Wilders’s staff think that this was slightly important information to tell us?

Paul Belien writes:

You say this is surreal. Of course it is surreal. The whole Wilders trial is surreal.

Want to live the surreal? Come and live in Europe.

Seen this?

“German homeschoolers get political asylum in the U.S.”

Wilders, too, will have to apply for asylum in the U.S. one day.

Paul Belien writes:

One more thing: the court also said that the witnesses will be heard behind closed doors.

LA replies:

Did they give a reason for this?

Paul Belien replies:


LA replies:

Bizarre. You’d think it was a trial dealing with state secrets.

Correction: for the liberal dhimmi state, the truth about Islam is a state secret.

But still, it comes down to this: Wilders is accused of a crime for which he can be sentenced to prison. His main defense from this charge is that his statements about Islam are not motivated by a desire to insult Muslims, but by a concern for the truth about Islam. To establish his defense, he requires expert witnesses about Islam. The judges, by requiring that these experts testify behind closed doors, deprive Wilders of any public defense against the charges that have been levied against him. The public at the end of the trial will hear the verdict, guilty or not guilty; but they won’t have heard the testimony on which that verdict was based.

I don’t think the USSR under Stalin ever conducted a trial like that.

Snouck writes:

Something I noticed watching and listening to the judge is that he appears scared or intimidated. He pays attention to the non-verbal reactions of Geert Wilders. I think he is part intimidated by Mr. Wilders and perhaps partly does not agree with some decisions he reads out.

I agree with Mr. Paul Belien. Europeans see nothing unusual in the long wait, because we are used to them. That is one of the reasons why the wait was not reported.

LA replies:

I presume this is the same judge who bizarrely asked Wilders why he was silent and impassive during the hearing. He seemed disconcerted that Wilders was not granting the judges some emotional response and thus validating them.

That reminded me of a scene in Atlas Shrugged, in which Ayn Rand’s industrialist hero, Henry Rearden, goes on trial for breaking an oppressive law that it would be impossible to obey and still keep doing business. Rearden refuses to grant the judges any legitimacy. He says to them: “I’m not to going to defend myself, and thus help you maintain the illusion that there is some fair process here. You have the power to put me in prison. Go ahead and put me in prison.” This throws the judges into a tizzy (there are three judges, just as in Wilders’s trial). They anxiously assure Rearden that they don’t want there to be any impression of unfairness, and they end up acquitting him.

From this Rearden draws the lesson that the ability of our oppressors to oppress us depends on our granting them the legitimacy to do so.

Larry G. writes

It all makes sense now. Europe is committing civilizational suicide because they’re tired of waiting for a doctor, and waiting for a trial. They invite Islam because they know its justice will be swift. It all starts with National Health Insurance.

LA replies:

That is a brilliant joke that reflects something of the truth. The present European order is a bureaucratic nightmare that crushes the spirit. So the European thinks: Instead of these faceless controllers we have now, who never deal with us plainly, who speak words without meaning and who manage everything from behind the scenes, give me the straightfoward tyranny of Islam. Then at least I’ll feel that I’m a little bit alive.”

LA continues:

And also I agree that it all starts with National Health Insurance. That was what made the Europeans dependent on the state and passive. From there, it was just a series of logical steps to reduce them to complete servitude and dhimmitude.

Many people in the U.S. understand that this is precisely what is at stake in the current debate on the Democrats’ health care bill. Many conservatives understand that once the Democrats get the nose of socialized medicine into the tent, it will all be over. That’s why conservatives oppose even a modified version of the Democrats’ bill.

Larry G. replies:

If that resembles the Europeans’ thinking at all, it is very sad. They need their own Tea Party movement. By the way, PJTV is covering the National Teaparty Convention in Nashville live through Sunday. Coverage resumes at 9:30am ET. You can find them here.

Paul Belien writes:

Indeed, it all began, three generations ago, with the expansion of the European welfare state.

Christian Europe dumped God because we had the State to take care of us from the cradle to the grave. The State = God.

Now, we are confronted with a religion that is not a religion but a totalitarian political ideology. It turns the equation around and replaces the State by Allah. The State must belong to Allah.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. you have elected yourself a president who wants to “europeanize” you by expanding your welfare state and turning the State into God.

Soon, Obamacare will have you wait for a doctor, too, and civilizational suicide will be around your corner as well.

Snouck writes:

Yes, I have argued for a long time with the na-oorlogs verzet or “after-the-war-resistance” (the Dutch left) that the capacity of the people to put up resistance against an occupier is undermined by the leftist program of having the state distributing services such as health care. Health insurance was introduced in The Netherlands by the German occupation in 1941. So was gun control.

Even so. An important reason for especially the rise of Pim Fortuyn and to a lesser degree also Mr. Wilders is bureaucratization and rationing of health care. People are angry about the waiting lists. People with better connections and superior negotiating skills are treated more quickly than those without and it undermines the claim the left has to fairness.

In Eastern Germany there was a idiom “needing Vitamin C” for the need to be well-connected. Similar expressions existed elsewhere in the Communist Bloc. Well connected people got what was inaccessible to the rest of the population. This caused widespread resentment and cynicism about Socialism in those societies in the 1970ies and later. “Do not wait for better times” East German singer Wolf Biermann sang and was expelled to the West. This resentment and cynism helped cause the implosion of totalitariansm in 1989.

Wilders has said that belief in multiculturalism is imploding. He knows Eastern Europe well, having worked with Hungarian groups on the admission of Hungary into the EU. He is married to a Hungarian wife too. His strategy is to expose the ideology to a searing dose of Truth. By having the trial behind closed doors the State is blocking Wilders’ strategy.

So the political class can keep their edifice of lies upright for a little bit longer. But in the end it will crash. As long as the gnostic impulse lives the old lies will be replaced by new lies. And our nation’s injuries will only become more deadly.

I wonder whether Mr. Wilders agrees with us about Health Care. He got into politics on his expertise of the Dutch Health Insurance system. Beforehand he worked as a staff member for the Sociale Verzekeringsraad (Social Insurance Council) and before that on the treaty department of the Ziekenfondsraad (Council of National Health Insurance).

Snouck adds:

It is indeed the same judge, Meester J.W. Moors.

E. writes:

Let Geert include the trial in his upcoming movie and you will see haw fast the judges line up to do the proper thing. Just the publicity will knock the socks off them—I’m in the business of suing and it works.

A. Zarkov writes:

You might be interested in reading through this legal blog along with the comments. One of the posters (Martinned) is a Dutch lawyer who explains some of the aspects of Dutch criminal law. The three witnesses for Wilders will be heard behind closed doors. As such they will not be testifying in open court, but through a “rechter-commissaris”, a “judge-commissioner.” If I understand everything right, even the transcript of what they say will not be available to the public and the press. Dutch criminal law is really different from American or English. It’s inquisitional instead of adversarial. The proceedings are a lot less formal than American, and they take pains to avoid the circus-like atmosphere that sometime attends American trials. The trial record is prepared by clerks, not judges, and if the parties take issue with the accuracy of the record they must appeal. It looks to me that the Dutch government will try to use the normal criminal procedures to make the Wilders trial as opaque as they can.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 05, 2010 01:29 AM | Send

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