Dutch anti-Islam MP set to go on trial in October: court

Dutch far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders is set to stand trial in October on charges of inciting racial hatred against Muslims, the Amsterdam district court said on Tuesday.

Updated: Apr 27, 2010, 23:47 PM IST

The Hague: Dutch far-right lawmaker Geert
Wilders is set to stand trial in October on charges of
inciting racial hatred against Muslims, the Amsterdam district
court said on Tuesday.

"The trial of Mr Wilders will start in October," the
court said in a statement.
According to a preliminary schedule, the case is to be
heard on October 4, 6 and 8, followed by judgment on November
2, it said.

The lawmaker is accused of five counts of religious
insult and anti-Muslim incitement for describing Islam as a
fascist religion and calling for the banning of the Koran,
which he has likened to Hitler`s Mein Kampf.

His Party for Freedom (PVV) has nine out of 150
parliamentary seats.

Wilder faces up to one year in jail if convicted.
His 17-minute film, "Fitna", was called "offensively
anti-Islamic" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon after its screening in
The Netherlands in 2008 prompted protests in much of the
Muslim world.

Prosecutors initially declined to charge Wilders, citing
freedom of speech in dismissing dozens of complaints from
around the country.

But an appeals court last January ordered prosecutors to
put the MP on trial, saying politicians could not make
"statements which create hate and grief".

Wilders` PVV won a majority of votes in its first
municipality in local polls in March in a show of strength
ahead of June general elections.

PTI