Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geert Wilders Trial: Prejudice Hits the Fan; Retrial Ordered

Pamela Geller brings word that the defense motion for replacement of the judicial panel on grounds of prejudice has finally been granted. The precipitating  event was a blog post by Hans Jansen in which he revealed an attempt to influence his attitude toward the trial.  The Professor and a member of the appellate court which ordered the trial were invited to a dinner party last May, three days before Jansen testified.  The judge engaged the Professor in conversation about the trial, a breech of judicial ethics.

     The defense moved to recall the witness, the judges denied the motion, holding open the possibility of recalling the witness at a later time. Seemingly marginal prejudicial statements by the chairman of the panel may also have been considered.
    The trial will be repeated at some future date with a new panel of judges, prolonging disruption of the defendant's life and increasing his legal expenses.  The trial is a massive waste of time, money and resource and should never have been initiated.  The case was initially declined by the prosecutor and imposed by an appellate court.

    One cartoonist portrayed Wilders plugging a hole in a dike with his finger.  In reality, he is sounding a warning about the leak, not plugging it.  That role is socially significant and he should not be prosecuted for it.

    Small Voice, the blog in the second link above, has a chronological list of trial highlights including video clips of the reading of expert testimony. 

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