Rumour has it that Geert Wilders, the leader of the populist PVV party, hopes to call Mohamed B., the man who killed Theo van Gogh, as a witness in his up-coming trial which starts this Wednesday. Probably to establish the connection between the Koran and violence that Wilders assumes. The prosecution, however, will focus on the Dutch criminal code, particularly the two articles the politician is alleged to have violated: 137 c and d. Wilders is charged with slandering a group and sowing hate, and discrimination on the basis of race or religion. He has targeted Muslims on the basis of their religion, the prosecution will argue, and non-western migrants or Moroccans on the basis of their race. The trial is expected to last months.
What exactly is Geert Wilders being charged with?
The case against him involves 21 pages of quotes drawn from interviews, newspaper articles, websites and a description of Wilder's anti-Islam film Fitna. It was initially dismissed by the public prosecutor's office which saw no chance of winning a conviction. The prosecutor consulted with its own expert think-tank on discrimination and two independent professors. All recommended against prosecution, stating that Wilders' public statements would prove insufficient to win a conviction.