Wilders wants 3.5 month postponement in hate speech trial
Update 11:45: The court granted Wilders postponement until September 23rd PVV leader Geert Wilders and his lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops requested postponement of 3.5 months in the hate speech trial against Wilders for statements he made about Moroccans during election campaigns two years ago, ANP reports. The high security court on Schiphol will consider the request on Thursday during a pre-trial hearing which Wilders and Knoops will not be attending. Wilders is facing charges of insulting Moroccans because of their race and inciting discrimination and hatred against them. The court previously rejected Wilders' request to appoint expert witnesses because they "are not necessary for the assessment of the criminal case". Wilders and Knoops now asked for postponement so that the lawyer can do his own research and find his own experts since the court decided not to appoint any additional ones, according to ANP. Thursday was reserved for the defense to argue why the case should be stopped before the substantive hearing. According to Knoops, he does not have all the necessary information yet to defend against further proceedings. It therefore make sense for him and Wilders not to attend the hearing on Thursday, the lawyer said on Wednesday according to NU.nl. The court will decide on whether or not to grant this postponement later on Thursday. It has now been over two years since Wilders asked a Hague cafe whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in the city, to which the crowd answered by chanting "fewer, fewer fewer". Wilders knew exactly what an uproar these statements would cause, RTL Nieuws reports based on witness statements prominent PVV members made to detectives working this case. According to the broadcaster, PVV policy employee Floris van Zonneveld told investigators that there was a discussion beforehand on exactly what phrasing Wilders should use - should he say "criminal Moroccans" or keep it to "Moroccans". Wilders knew that "fewer Moroccans" would create the desired uproar, without adding the word "criminal" to the statement, RTL reports. The testimony also reveals that Martin Bosma came up with the speech. And that a PVV employee instructed the crowd to chant "fewer, fewer fewer".