The trial of MP and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders on charges of inciting hatred resumed on Wednesday after a special hearing rejected claims the court was biased against him.
On Monday, Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moszkowicz challenged the legitimacy of the court after the presiding judge appeared to criticise Wilders’ decision to evoke his right to silence.
But judges at the special hearing ruled Jan Moors’ comments, although clumsily formulated, did not imply prejudice against Wilders and said the trial could continue as planned.
Wilders, a silent partner of the probable new government, is on trial in Amsterdam on charges of discrimination and inciting hatred against Muslims, Moroccans and non-Western immigrants.
The trial centres on a number of statements made by Wilders over the years. In one, he likened the Koran to Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and called for it to be banned.
In another, he said: ‘The borders will be closed that day for all non-western immigrants….We have to stop the tsunami of islamisation. It is affecting our heart, our identity, our culture.’
Today’s hearing is expected to include a showing of Fitna, Wilders’ 17 minute video compliation of footage linking Islam to violence.