Oct 22 (Reuters) - A Dutch court approved on Friday a request from anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to have new judges for his trial on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims.Wilders made this request earlier in the proceedings but it was declined. The court has now agreed with Wilders and has stepped down based on claims that a court official has attempted to intimidate one of the defense's witnesses.
Via Dutch News:
Geert Wilders' trial on inciting hatred charges in Amsterdam took a new twist on Friday after it emerged another court official may have tried to pressure one of the defence witnesses.The Monsters & Critics website is reporting that one of the judges tried to influence one of the defense witnesses at a dinner.
The allegations, in De Pers newspaper, led Wilders' lawyer Bram Moszkowicz to again ask for the judges to be dismissed because they refused to rule on whether the witness should be recalled.
Wilders broke his silence to call personally for new judges. The trial is 'a great big mess', Wilders told the special panel considering the request.
Wilders had filed the partiality complaint on grounds that one member of the panel of judges had attempted to influence an expert on Islam, who was being called on as a witness in the proceedings.This is a huge victory for Geert Wilders, made even more so by revelations and admission by the court itself that he was a victim of judicial bias.
When the expert witness, an Arabic scholar, divulged the attempt to influence him, he was no longer allowed by the panel of judges as a witness. Thereupon Wilders' lawyers filed suit declaring that he 'had not the slightest trust' any longer in the judges.
In the wake of the ruling, it meant that a new panel of judges would have to be found to carry out proceedings against Wilders.
The judges should be investigated.