Opinion: “Geert Wilders’ trial has backfired in any way possible”

Geert Wilders… The politically charged trial took another twist last week when one of Mr. Wilders‘ expert witnesses, the Arabist Hans Jansen, wrote on his website that a member of the judiciary had tried to influence him. He said that at a dinner party before he was supposed to testify, one of the appeals judges whose decision compelled the prosecutors to press charges tried to “convince me of the correctness of the decision to take Wilders to court.”

 

To further complicate matters, the trial judges then denied a defense request to question Mr. Jansen in court about his allegations. An oversight panel of jurists finally granted the defense’s request to dismiss the presiding judges, calling their colleagues’ refusal to hear the witness “incomprehensible.” The trial, which was supposed to end next month, theoretically must start over with new judges.

 

Prosecuting Mr. Wilders has backfired in every way imaginable, not least politically. The trial has seemed to confirm his charge that avoiding debate over the implications of Muslim immigration leads to the erosion of Western freedoms, most notably freedom of speech. Despite, or perhaps because of, the trial, Mr. Wilders’ Party for Freedom became the third-strongest parliamentary faction in last June’s elections. This allowed Mr. Wilders to become a political king-maker by backing the new center-right minority government.

via The Lost Cause Against Wilders – WSJ.com.

I didn’t know that one of the judges had tried to influence a witness. The doubt is how many more were called with the same objective.

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