Far-right Dutch MP faces incitement trial

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Far-right Dutch MP faces incitement trial

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A Dutch court has ruled it will go ahead and hear an incitement to hatred case against the right-wing politician Geert Wilders.

His assertion that under parliamentary privilege he had protection from freedom of speech laws was thrown out.

The Freedom Party leader is accused of promoting anti-Muslim views in the media, including comparing Islam to fascism.

The trial is seen as being central to the country’s constitution, exploring the line between freedom of speech and a discrimination ban.

After the first session, Wilders was dismayed that his witnesses had been ruled unacceptable.

“I need at least the expert witnesses that I asked for, both in the field of freedom of speech, but also what I said and the comparisons that I made about Islam and for instance the Koran and Mein Kampf. And well, the court threw out 15 of the 18 expert witnesses that I asked for and therefore is probably not interested in the truth,” he said.

Wilders made a film in 2008 which accused the Koran of inciting violence and mixed images of terrorist attacks with quotations from the Islamic holy book.

He faces a maximum of one year and three months in prison if convicted.