Senior Dutch judge resigns over Wilders case

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An Amsterdam judge has resigned saying that he was treated "scandalously" in the early stages of the trial against MP Geert Wilders. Judge Tom Schalken was on the initial panel of judges, who were taken off the case on accusation of influencing witness.

Mr Schalken said he had waited to speak out until the Wilders case was over. It ended last month with the full acquittal of the anti-Islam MP over hatemongering charges. The court observed that Mr Wilders had made "rude and insulting" statements, but that he had remained within the law. By resigning as a judge, Mr Schalken told daily , "I too can finally use my freedom of expression".

The former magistrate described how he was showered by "hatred and derision" for his part in the trial, and said it made him too embarrassed to be a judge any longer. Mr Schalken was involved in bringing Mr Wilders to court and was severely criticised for dining with a defence witness during the trial. He is 67 and was a magistrate for 30 years.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

1 Comment To This Article

  • Diana posted:

    on 3rd July 2011, 09:41:53 - Reply

    So he's "embarrassed " huh ? Well, good ! It's about time. If ever there was a kangaroo court; a surreal ,political, biased trial that was it ! It never should have happened and most people agree about that. Judge Schalken, was wrong to be discussing Wilders and the case to another witness, and the judges were hell-bent on doing away with an innocent man because they don't want him in Parliamnet. Every one of them, in my opinion ,were wrong and the whole ordeal reflected a bad light on them. Now Judge Schalken is trying to cover up his own blunders by blaming others-especially Wilders. Geert should sue them ! I only hope they have learned something .