Court Rejects Wilders’ Witnesses

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Dutch politician Geert Wilders has not got what he asked for from the three judges hearing his case at the Amsterdam District Court.

Mr Wilders, through his lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, had requested that 17 witnesses testify as part of his defence against charges of incitement toward hatred of Muslims and non-western immigrants.

Murderer

Among others, Mr Wilders had asked that Mohammed Bouyeri, the convicted murderer of Theo van Gogh, testify.

The judges will not allow Bouyeri to testify. They have also ruled that other “Muslim extremists” on Wilders’ list of witnesses not be allowed to testify. The list includes Fawaz Jneid, imam at the Soennah Mosque in The Hague, and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the Guardians Council in Iran.

Ex-Muslims
Mr Wilders will be allowed to call three experts on Islam, out of a total eight he had requested. However, two ex-Muslim experts the defence team had requested, in part to give personal testimony about the effects of Islam, were also rejected.

In their ruling, the judges said Mr Wilders would have ample opportunity to tell the court whether he agrees with those experts not being allowed to testify in the courtroom.

Staying in Amsterdam
The judges also ruled that they have jurisdiction in the case. Mr Moszkowicz had asked that the trial be moved to The Hague, since most of Mr Wilders’ statements were made there.

Geert Wilders was visibly displeased with the rulings of the court, shaking his head repeatedly during the brief announcement. In a statement he read to the court during the initial hearing two weeks ago, Mr Wilders said that if the court did not allow all of his witnesses, it would be impossible to say he had been given a fair trial.

The proceedings have now been adjourned until further notice.

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