The Court of Appeal of The Hague rejected the request to postpone the appeal in the Wilders case. Geert-Jan Knoops, lawyer for PVV leader Geert Wilders, asked for more time for further investigation into possible political interference with the case.
The defense had previously asked the court to declare the Public Prosecution Service (OM) inadmissible, but the court said it would not pass judgment until Thursday on the final decision.
According to Knoops, the OM would no longer be entitled to prosecute Wilders because, according to the lawyer, there was clearly obvious political interference. This amounts to a violation of the separation of powers.
However, an opinion on this came too early for the court. "Further investigation is needed," the judge said. "That investigation must take place at the hearing, among other things. The defense's argument also plays an important role in this."
Knoops does not want to make a pleaded plea
Knoops says he cannot start pleading, because there is no possibility of further investigation. It would then be a poor plea, the lawyer said.
Apart from examining earlier documents, more documents may be released in October that may serve as evidence of political interference. The court in Utrecht will then give a ruling on a Wob request from RTL Nieuws.
The news channel wants to gain insight into documents about the decision to prosecute Wilders, but a request for this was rejected by the Ministry of Justice. RTL Nieuws then went to court.
Documents are a point of discussion
Some of those documents were released and they are now a point of discussion. According to the defense, this clearly shows political interference.
The Public Prosecution Service says that the documents show that the follow-up decision was taken independently. Whether officials from the ministry have given advice is irrelevant according to the judiciary. In addition, these documents would never have reached the OM.
See also: What is the appeal in the Wilders case about?
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