Excerpt:

Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-Right MP, has demanded that his race hate trial should hear evidence from the fanatic who used the Koran to justify killing the director of an anti-Islamic film.

It marked an incendiary opening to the landmark case that has divided the Netherlands over the limits of freedom. Mr Wilders, 46, who is accused of incitement and discrimination, asked for 18 witnesses to be called in his defence, including Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who stabbed and shot Theo Van Gogh in an Amsterdam street in 2004.

The Van Gogh murder left a deep scar on the national conscience. It helped to change the mood of tolerance of Islam, and boosted Mr Wilders's popularity.


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