Anti-Islam Dutch Lawmaker Says He's Being Denied a Fair Trial; Court Rejects Most of His Witness List
by Patrick Goodenough
February 4, 2010
(CNSNews.com) – The Dutch lawmaker on trial for his provocative views on Islam said Wednesday he was being denied the right to a fair trial after the court rejected most of his requested defense witnesses, including a convicted murderer who invoked the Koran to justify his actions.
The Amsterdam District Court ruled that Geert Wilders could only call three witnesses out of the 18 he wanted. Among those it turned down was Mohammed Bouyeri, imprisoned for life in 2005 for murdering a Dutch critic of Islam, filmmaker Theo van Gogh, on an Amsterdam street the previous year.
In a statement released after the brief hearing, Wilders said, "This court is not interested in the truth. This court doesn't want me to have a fair trial. I can't have any respect for this. This court would not be out of place in a dictatorship."
Nonetheless, Wilders said he was still hopeful of an acquittal. The testimony phase will begin later this year.
Wilders and his supporters say the case is much more than the trial of one man accused of discrimination and inciting hatred. They say the right of Europeans to speak what they believe to be the truth about Islam is at stake.
"This is not merely a lawsuit against Geert Wilders [but] … a trial against all freedom-loving people. A trial against millions," states a Web site set up Wednesday by Wilders, dedicated to the trial.
The case against Wilders, who heads the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, relates in part to his short documentary film, Fitna, which features passages from the Koran along with footage of terror attacks and jihadists extolling violence while quoting from Islam's revered text.
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Related Topics: Geert Wilders
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