Several hundred supporters gathered outside an Amsterdam court on Wednesday as the case against politician Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination begins with the first public hearing.
Today’s hearing is a procedural one to determine which when the main sessions will be held and who will be called as witnesses.
Wilders is facing several charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims, Moroccans and non-Western immigrants.
The MP has already said he wants to call more than 20 witnesses including criminal law professor Theo Roos and Mohammed Bouyeri – the man who murdered film maker Theo van Gogh. Wilders has described Bouyeri as ‘living proof’ that Islam inspires people to violence.
Nos tv reports that the public prosecution department is considering asking the court to find Wilders not guilty.
Sources have told the tv station the department is not convinced Wilders’ statements break the law. Today’s case has been forced to court by anti-racism campaigners after the department said it would not prosecute him.
The department’s sentencing demands will not be made public until after the main trial which will probably take place later this year.
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