Court rules that Wilders trial will continue

Amsterdam district court has rejected a call by Geert Wilders’ legal team that the inciting hatred and discrimination case against him be dropped.

Wilders’ lawyer Bram Moszkowicz said at the beginning of this month that his client would not get a fair trial and urged the court to abandon the case.

Moszkowicz’ argument centres on a senior court official who was influential in ensuring Wilders was taken to court even though the public prosecution department was unwilling to pursue the case.

But the court said on Monday it did not accept Moszkowicz’ claim that the anti-Islam party leader would not get a fair trial and said claims Tom Schalken had tried to influence a key witness during a dinner party were implausible.

Schalken was no longer involved in the case, and although he should have acted with greater caution to ensure no signs of partiality, he had not gone too far, the court said.

Dutch News, 23 May 2011

See also AFP, 23 May 2011