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Whatever your verdict may be, that is the bitter conclusion of this trial.
This trial is also surrealistic. I am being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic. Only a few minutes ago some here have doubted my mental health. I have been called a new Hitler. I wonder whether those who call me such names will also be sued, and if not, whether the Court will also order prosecution. Probably not. And that is just as well. Because freedom of speech applies also to my opponents.
My right to a fair trial has been violated. The order of the Amsterdam Court to prosecute me was not just a decision but a condemning verdict by judges who condemned me even before the actual trial had begun.
Mister President, members of the Court, you must now decide whether freedom still has a home in the Netherlands
Franz Kafka said: “One sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark.”
Mister President, members of the Court, do not let the lights go out in the Netherlands.
Acquit me: Put an end to this Kafkaesque situation.
Acquit me. Political freedom requires that citizens and their elected representatives are allowed to voice opinions that are held in society.
Acquit me, for if I am convicted, you convict the freedom of opinion and expression of millions of Dutchmen.
Acquit me. I do not incite to hatred. I do not incite to discrimination. But I defend the character, the identity, the culture and the freedom of the Netherlands. That is the truth. That is why I am here. That is why I speak. That is why, like Luther before the Imperial Diet at Worms, I say: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation.
Do not let that source go dry just to cosy up to a totalitarian regime. “Freedom,” said the American President Dwight Eisenhower, “has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom.
I have spoken, I speak, and it is my duty – I cannot do otherwise – to continue to speak.
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