Justice ministry split over Wilders trial

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The justice ministry was deeply divided about whether to prosecute anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, a television documentary suggests.

Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and two senior prosecutors were in favour of a trial, according to anonymous sources quoted by the programme made by broadcaster HUMAN. But the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office opposed the move and succeeded in blocking it, the same sources claim. The second and final part of the documentary will be aired on Monday evening.

The justice minister, the programme notes, has the right to order a trial but no minister in Dutch parliamentary history has ever used it. In the programme, Mr Hirsch Ballin says he never had that intention because he did not want to interfere with the decision by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Last year, a court in Amsterdam forced the Public Prosecutor to try Mr Wilders. The Public Prosecutor demanded the defendant be cleared, a request that was honoured by the court.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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