The trial of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders recommenced yesterday with a ruling on which expert witnesses the defence would be permitted to call.
When the trial opened a fortnight ago, Wilders asked for a rather sparky list of 18 expert witnesses. They included some noted experts on Islam and social cohesion. And also a few, ahem, practitioners of the same. They were to include Mohammed Bouyeri, who shot, stabbed and partly beheaded the film-maker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004. And also Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the jihadist cleric who was given the red-carpet treatment in London by former mayor Ken Livingstone a few years back.
Sadly the Dutch court haven't allowed these witnesses or most of the others, leaving the defence with only three witnesses. They are expert Simon Admiraal and leading Dutch scholar Hans Jansen (author of numerous scholarly books and the hilariously titled recent Islam for Pigs, Donkeys, Monkeys and Other Beasts). Most interestingly the court has allowed Wilders to call as an expert witness the brave and eloquent Wafa Sultan.