DUTCH LAWMAKER DENIED FAIR TRIAL BECAUSE OF ANTI-ISLAMIC STAND
Anti-Islam Dutch Lawmaker Says He’s Being Denied a Fair Trial; Court Rejects Most of His Witness List [Excerpts]
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.”
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.