Court limits Wilders’ witness list

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.

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