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Court limits Wilders' witness list

Wednesday 03 February 2010

The killer of Theo van Gogh and 14 of the other witnesses anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders wanted to call in his defence against charges of discrimination and inciting hatred have been ruled inadmissible by Amsterdam district court.

But three Islam experts proposed by Wilders will be heard behind closed doors, the judges said on Wednesday afternoon. They include American Syrian psychiatrist Wafa Sultan who believes the world is witness to 'a battle between modernity and barbarism which Islam will lose'.

The court also turned down Wilders' request to hear five legal experts on the grounds that the MP will have ample opportunity to say whether or not he agrees with them during the trial. He had wanted to call 18 experts and Muslim radicals.


Wilders has stated his case not only rests on freedom of speech legislation but on the fact that he is speaking the truth.

'This court is apparently not interested in the truth. I can conclude nothing else other than that the court does not wish me a fair trial,' he was reported as saying by news agency ANP after the judges' statement.

Wilders faces five counts of religious insult and anti-Muslim incitement. In January, the public prosecution department extended the prosecution case to include inciting hatred of Muslims, Moroccans and non-Western immigrants.

Open court

The court also turned down the prosecution's call for Wilders himself to be interviewed by an examining judge behind closed doors. Wilders had said he wanted to be questioned in open court.

The prosecution is not planning to bring any witnesses.

The case will take place at some point between June 1 and October 31, news agency ANP reported.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I was not one who thought this was a political trial.
But it is starting to look more and more suspicious.
We should honestly be trying liberals who sold our culture and our country to the invading hoards.
Mr Wilders is being prosecuted for an opinion that is proven TRUE by just reading the daily newspapers and seeing what certain groups get up to in the name of religion!

By Juan | 3 February 2010 3:05 PM

I wish if the Dutch public is allowed to stand in the witness box during the trial of Mr.Geert Wilders to comment on his politics of hate and polarization.

The the world could notice that the majority of the Dutch public is against any attempt of creation of a gulf among the citizens and insulting fellow citizens.

I have full faith in my fellow citizens that they are and they would reject movement based on discrimination and dirty intentions.

Mr.Wilders and his supporters should know that he is going to loose his case in the courts and elsewhere.

By Khalid Ahmed Chaudry | 3 February 2010 4:06 PM

And so the Wilders circus continues...

Like the stupid trapeze artist who boasts 'No safety net', his timing and accuracy must be impeccable, or he'll fall & break his neck...

By stevie | 3 February 2010 8:06 PM

After many years in Moslem countries and non Muslim countries, I know the difference. The only good thing from the Arabic countries are the punishment for thieves. Amputate their stealing hands. The next good thing is belly dancing women. All the rest better goes in the garbage can.

By Captain Ze | 3 February 2010 9:43 PM

It doesn't matter if what Wilders has said is true or not, it doesn't even matter if it is hateful, it is the right of the individual in a democratic soceity to utter his or hers opinions about any religion, ideology or other institution, even lie about them or be hateful towards them.

Say goodbye to democracy and freedom of speech, Netherland, just to put a man on trial for speaking, SPEAKING, has brought you too far.

I'm sure some of you will present the rather pointless argument that freedom of speech is a right, not an obligation. Or that one should consider limiting freedom of speech because we don't want to hurt people needlesly.

Who should decide when something said is hateful? You, Khalid above here, a commitee? Hatespeech is such a subjective term, I feel hurt and offended by the fact that a country which I have been so fond of do something like this, should I bring the Dutch government to court?

By Norwegian | 4 February 2010 12:16 AM

What I want to know is where is the voice of the people ? I mean why are the leaders of the free world not hearing the people ? I think if they could get the message of the citizens they would know how wrong they have been, because , the truth be known, the people are sick of Muslim appeasement, Muslim aggression, Muslim religious rules that clash with a democratic society . I hear that all the time. The media, press, all seem too muzzled to speak out. How about the internet - is freedom of speech in danger there too ???

By Darlene Ward | 4 February 2010 12:17 AM

One day someone asked me “what is freedom?” I replied, “Don’t break the
law and don’t break the heart”
If everyone can do what he want then this world will become a jungle (where there is no rule and respect for other, just eat because you have a power to speak or eat).
Most of people say that Islam is a religion of barbarism, but what about Iraq War which is only fought for Oil by european (so called well manner people from few decades). And what about Bosnian Serb War, World War I and II.?
If any freedom fighter wants freedom from european barbarism on some places then your called them terrorist, while they are also fighting for Freedom? they are only terrorist because the are against european invasion.

By Mehmood | 4 February 2010 8:09 AM

Wilders can say whatever he wants.

However, I am sick and tired of him huffing and puffing and being "outraged" everytime someone disagrees with him. He only wants free speech for HIM.

Do you who agree with him really want a country like that? One step away from a dictatorship? Think people.

By CW | 4 February 2010 9:07 AM

Darlene You said 'the truth be known, the people are sick of Muslim appeasement, Muslim aggression, Muslim religious rules that clash with a democratic society.' What about Christian appeasement, Christian aggression, Christian religious rules that clash with democratic society. Just because the Christians are in charge here. It shouldnt be allowed. Religion and politics dont mix cause they are the exact same thing with a slightly different face. Control, control, control. Its the extremists on all sides that are the spark and people like you are the kindling. And together ye are gonna burn the whole place down. Stop ruining it for me. To quote a great comedian, Bill Hicks "Just kill yourself. Make the world a little lighter. Free up some air for the rest of us"

By langer | 4 February 2010 10:22 AM

WOW. Are people here not reading the actual articles or simply reading what they want. That's a BIG PROBLEM if you want peace with everyone and don't read what is being told. Wilders himself is saying this is NOT a issue of free speech. He believes he's right and wants to prove his position/why he believes that the Islamic religion is dated and dangerous.

In my opinion, I agree with him. Islam to me is like Catholicism in the middle ages. It is as barbaric and backwards as Catholicism was (and still can be).

A religion that still treats women as subservient and western culture as evil is completely lost in time (and these are just two points.) Of course "not everyone" who is Islamic is like that but the majority is. And, a major percentage of that majority also has inflicted harm on those who are simply not part of it's "world". Daily we see attacks, even on children (yesterday a young girl's school in Pakistan). This not because Islam is a peaceful religion, folks!

By Peter | 4 February 2010 11:02 AM

If there is lawlessness from persons within "certain groups" that should be dealt with by law enforcement, not by hate speech against culture, religions, ethnicity. There are peace-loving Muslims who I'm sure outnumber violent ones.

Wilders is creating hatred against ALL muslims, and all NON-WESTERN persons as well. If it is a crime, let him be punished by the same law enforcement agencies.

Freedom of speech is not limitless, I once again ask how people speak about FOS whilst accepting "Postings which contain racist, sexist or homophobic language or which insult other correspondents will not be published" when reading this website and commenting? Is that not a limit to FOS?

As CW points out, Wilders only wants FOS for himself. What about freedom of belief?

Offensive speech is just plain bad manners if nothing else. It is up to the people to tell offensive persons to shut up! Or are the Dutch that poorly mannered? Discrimination based on religion or ethnicity is just not on. It has already gone too far.

By AC | 4 February 2010 12:29 PM

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