Dutch anti-Islam MP' hate speech trial adjourned

4th October 2010, Comments 1 comment

The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders was adjourned for 24 hours shortly after opening in Amsterdam on Monday as he called on the judges to recuse themselves on the grounds of bias.

"We will now retire to consider" Wilders' application, said judge Frans Bauduin, the chairman of a special panel of judges hastily convened to hear the recusal bid that interrupted Wilders' trial.

A ruling on the recusal is to be made at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, said Bauduin.

Wilders, 47, risks up to a year in jail or a 7,600-euro fine for calling Islam "fascist" and likening the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

He is charged with five counts of giving religious offence to Muslims and inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and people of non-Western immigrant origin, particularly Moroccans, in comments made between October 2006 and March 2008 in Dutch newspapers and on Internet forums.

After a brief initial statement in the morning in which he defended his right to free speech, Wilders announced to the court that he would invoke his right to remain silent and not answer any questions.

This moved presiding judge Jan Moors to observe that Wilders has often been accused in the media of making wild statements and then avoiding the discussions they evoked, adding "it seems as if you're doing it again".

Wilders then sought the recusal of Moors and his two assistants, claiming they had demonstrated bias against him.

"Inappropriate, even scandalous", Wilders told the court of the statement, adding: "In my opinion, a fair trial is no longer possible".

His lawyer Bram Moszkowicz said the incident has "created an impression of partiality".

Wilders is set to become a shadow partner of the next Dutch government after his Party for Freedom came third in June 9 national elections with 24 out of 150 members of the lower house of parliament.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • A_Nonny_Mouse posted:

    on 5th October 2010, 09:17:32 - Reply

    "Giving religious offence"?

    ?? Excuse me ??

    Across Europe, Muslims riot, torch cars, and kill people at the merest suggestion that Islam might be a violent religion -- this is the truth (and not a rare or isolated case).

    But pointing out that such behavior is incompatible with Western Civilization is now grounds for arrest and trial?

    Any Western nation that has proposed, enacted, and now enforces such a law has turned its back on the essential Western notion that there is such a thing as Truth, and that men MUST be free to search for it and vigorously debate how to adjust to it. A civilization that can't face reality will die.

    The Dutch are committing cultural suicide by not insisting that THEIR LAWS AND VALUES are supreme in their own country. Some Dutch legislators seem unable to grasp that rewarding bullies --aka Islamic supremacists-- by giving in to their demands for "special treatment" due to their "religious sensibilities" doesn't satisfy the agitators, it ENCOURAGES them to demand further accommodation. By doing this, the Muslim immigrants never need to adjust to Dutch norms, they merely demand that the whole nation accept THEIR customs and habits: multiple wives, child marriage, honor-killing of women, and refusal to acknowledge Dutch law as supreme over Sharia law. Is this REALLY in the best interests of the Netherlands, or Europe as a whole?

    And Geert Wilders is put on trial for pointing this out. Lunacy. Suicidal lunacy.