“The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders will start afresh after judges trying him were ordered to step down Friday by a panel of their colleagues at the politician’s request.
‘The trial will start afresh,’ Amsterdam district court spokeswoman Mercedes Grootscholten told AFP after a panel of oversight judges said Wilders’ concerns of bias on the part of his trial judges were ‘understandable‘.
Judge GH Marcus, the president of a panel convened to consider Wilders’ request for the judges’ recusal, said their denial of his request to recall a witness ‘appears to be in conflict with the applicable jurisprudence‘.
‘We find the applicant’s fear that the court’s decision points to a degree of bias, also in light of earlier incidents, understandable,’ the judge said.
Wilders, 47, went on trial on October 4 for inciting hatred by calling Islam ‘fascist’ and likening the Koran to Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’.
There have been seven days of hearings so far. Judgement had been set for November 5.”
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