The main hearing in Geert Wilders' appeal against his conviction for inciting discrimination is likely to begin in May 2018, the chairman of the appeal court said on Tuesday.

During the first procedural sitting in the appeal, at the high security court at Schiphol airport, Wilders' lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops called for 'scientific research' into important elements of what he called 'this special case'.

In particular, this should centre on the boundaries of free speech, because this is fundamental to democracy and the rule of law, Knoops said.

Wilders is also attempting to have the chairwoman of the court removed for not being impartial.

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