The Hague (AFP) – 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. MORE