[Ed. – Don’t know if Dutch law can/will compel his attendance. Most nations’ laws provide for being tried in absentia, but in Western nations, it’s not usually because the defendant refuses to be there.]
Defiant Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders said Friday he will refuse to attend his hate speech trial next week, dubbing it a travesty aimed at silencing him as the country prepares for 2017 elections.
The trial opens on Monday before a three-judge bench with the far-right politician facing charges of insulting a racial group and inciting racial hatred for comments he made about Moroccans living in the Netherlands.
“It is my right and my duty as a politician to speak about the problems in our country,” Wilders said in a statement Friday, dubbing the case “a political trial, in which I refuse to cooperate”.
It comes as opinion polls have shown his far-right Freedom Party (PVV) doing well ahead of March elections. …
Set to last until November 25, the trial focuses on a comment made at a March 2014 rally when Wilders asked supporters if they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?”
When the crowd shouted back “Fewer! Fewer!” Wilders answered: “We’re going to organise that.”