Anti-Islam MP fails to block Amsterdam trial

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The Public Prosecutor has brushed aside attempts to halt the trial of Dutch MP Geert Wilders.

Mr Wilders' lawyer Bram Moszkowicz had argued that his client was being accused of far more than was included in the formal charges, which, public broadcaster NOS reports, include hatemongering, discrimination and insulting a section of the population.

Dutch audience
In response to the argument that the Amsterdam court was not qualified to hear this case, the prosecution pointed out that the alleged offences were committed in Amsterdam, among other places.

The fact that Mr Wilders' anti-Islam movie pamphlet, Fitna, was released through a US website was not considered relevant, seeing that the film was targeting a Dutch-speaking audience.

Apology accepted?
The Public Prosecutor was obliged, however, to apologise to Mr Wilders about the assertion that his film showed a page being torn from the Qur'an. This was, as Mr Wilders argued, beside the fact. He explained that the book in question was a telephone directory.

The court will decide its next steps on 30 March.

(rk/ae)

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