Recusal filed against judge on Wilders hate speech trial
At the request of Geert Wilders, lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops announced a recusal request against one of the judges in the hate speech trial against the PVV leader. In court on Thursday Knoops announced that they want judge Elianne van Rens removed from the case because Wilders believes her biased, the Volkskrant reports.
The recusal request will be considered at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. It is unclear when a ruling will be made on the request - it could be right away, but could also be two weeks later. It is therefore also unclear whether Wilders' trial will be delayed over thist. According to a Public Prosecutor spokesperson, the request has "absolutely no chance".
Wilders also requested that Van Rens be removed from the case in April, but the request was denied. According to Wilders, Van Rens made negaive statements about the political views of his party in the past and that makes her biased.
On Thursday Knoops interrupted the aggrieved parties' statements to anunce that the defense no longer has confidence in the impartiality of one of the judges. According to Knoops, Van Rens is biased because she has an inccorect legal concept of the word "intolerance" and about its jurisprudence. Wilders, who is not attending the trial against him, agreed on Twitter: "What a tterrible bias of the judge who can barely conceal her PVV hatred in the questioning of Professor Cilteur."
Wat een vreselijke vooringenomenheid van deze rechter die haar PVV haat nauwelijks kan verhullen bij de ondervraging van Professor Cliteur. pic.twitter.com/niWejfO3zZ— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) November 3, 2016
Expert witness for the defense Paul Cilteur argued that Wilders call for "fewer Moroccans" in The Hague and Netherlands was not incitement to hatred or discrimination, but a "proposal for immigration restriction". He also stated that nationality is not the same as race. According to him, the law only mentions discrimination based on race, religion disability, gender or sexual orientation, but not on nationality or origin. "You can also say: do you want fewer Amercians, Malaysians or Syrians in the Netherlands. That might be harsh, but not racism."