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Wilders Press Release

Wilders Press Release

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Published by: religionclause on Jun 24, 2011
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06/24/2011

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 Verdict of the Amsterdam district court as regards the Wilders trial, 23 June 2011
Amsterdam, 23 June 2011
 – 
Hereafter, the most important decisions of the district court aresummarized. For the integral text, please go to www.rechtspraak.nl 
Allegations
The writ of summons contains utterances from interviews, an opinion article, an internetcolumn and a movie (Fitna). By expressing these utterances, the public prosecution accusesWilders to be guilty of the following:1.
 
Group defamation by insulting a group of people (Muslims) based on their religion2.
 
Incitement to hatred against people (Muslims) based on their religion3.
 
Incitement to discrimination of people (Muslims) based on their religion4.
 
Incitement to hatred against people based on their race5.
 
Incitement to discrimination of people based on their race.
Attribution of the utterances to Wilders
First of all, the district court views whether it can be proven that the utterances can beattributed to Wilders. This is the case, except for 2. These texts can be attributed to him, evenin the cases where Wilders quoted others in his opinion article and internet column. In thosetexts, Wilders seeks support for his own statements or he incorporated these words. Asre
gards Fitna, the closing credits quote, among other things, “scenario Geert Wilders…” and“a movie by Geert Wilders”. It can be deduced from this, as well as from an interview in the
regional newspaper
 De Limburger 
of 9 Fe
 bruary 2008 by the name of “Islam
 
is my Fitna” that
Wilders was closely engaged in the realization of the movie as a result of which this moviecan be attributed to him as well.
Punishability of the utterances
The district court has investigated whether the facts which can be attributed to the suspect, arepunishable. The district court draws the conclusion that the suspect shall be acquitted from allcharges, based on the following examination:
Count 1:
This concerns the indictable offence
“group defamation”. In order for this offence
to
 be proven, it should be determined whether the utterance concerns “a group of people”, in this
case the Muslims. An example of an utterance that has been charged with in this count readsas follows:
“The foundation of the problem is the fascist 
Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and  Mohammed as laid down in the Islamic Mein Kampf: the Koran. The texts from the Koranleave little
room for imagination”.
It can be deduced from legal history and jurisprudence that criticism as regards religion andcriticism as regards the followers of a certain religion are allowed. The district court refers toan important verdict from the Dutch Supreme Court of Justice (
 Hoge Raad 
) of 10 March 2009(LJN BF0655), which has been reached after the realization of the decision in which theprosecution of Wilders was requested. The utterance as referred to above, as well as other
 
Press release on the verdict of the Amsterdam district court in the Wilders trial, 23 June 2011
2
utterances from count 1 refer to the Islam
. The utterances do not refer to “a group of people”
pursuant to article 137c of the Dutch Criminal Code. This results in acquittal.
Counts 2 and 3
. These concern the indictable offences “incitement to hatred against and
discrimination of people based on their religion
”. The
district court examined the utterancesas charged, among which the movie Fitna as well, one by one. In addition, the district courthas reviewed the utterance itself as well as the connection with the remainder of the articlefrom which the quotation derived. Furthermore, the district court reviewed the context inwhich the utterance should be placed. For example, the context comprises the public debate.As regards a large number of utterances, the district court determines that these refer to theIslam and, therefore, do not incite to hatred against people or to discrimination of people.Thus, this already results in acquittal.Sometimes, this can be deduced from the utterance itself, and sometimes from the connectionwith the remainder of the article. An example of one of these utterances is as follows:
“From
that tsunami from a culture unknown to us which becomes more and more dominant here.
That should be stopped”.
The rule prevails here as well that criticism as regards religion is allowed.The district court has separately examined the following utterances. First of all, this concernsthe utterance:
“Thos
e Moroccan boys are truly violent. They beat up people based on their sexual origin. I have never used any
violence”.
This utterance is not directed to people based on their religion and, therefore, this shall resultin acquittal.The district court determines that a number of utterances could fall under the scope of 
“incitement to discrimination”. An example is as follows:
“That very same day, the borders
close for non-
Western residents”.
Some other utterances generally have the same meaning.The district court determines that these quotations are allowed because of the context of thepublic debate in which Wilders utters his statements as a politician. In the Netherlands, themulticultural society and immigration were largely discussed when the suspect uttered thesestatements. In his view, the suspect raised public problems with his utterances. The utterancesdo not cross criminal legal boundaries. Therefore, this results in acquittal as well.Another utterance which has been reviewed separately, reads as follows:
“The demographic
composition of the population is the largest problem in the Netherlands. I am talking about what comes to the Netherlands and what multiplies here. When you look at the figures and its
development…. Musl 
ims will move from the big cities to the countryside. We have to stop thetsunami of islamicism. That stabs us in the heart, in our identity, in our culture. If we do not defend ourselves, then all other items from my program
will prove to be worthless”.
As regards this utterance, the district court determines that this utterance, based on the wordsas used, is blunt and humiliating indeed, but is not subversive and does not incite to hatred ordiscrimination. Therefore, this shall result in acquittal.The following utterance has been discussed separately as well.
“I have good intentions. We
allow something to happen as a result of which this turns into a completely different society. I do know that there is no Islamic majority in a couple of decades. However, the number isgrowing. With aggressive elements, imperialism. Walk in the street and see where this ends.You feel that you are no longer living in your own country. A conflict is going on and we haveto defend ourselves. In due time, there are more
mosques than churches!”
 

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