Wilders refuses to attend own trial

Dutch anti-Islam opposition leader Geert Wilders will not be attending his own trial next week to face hate speech charges. Accused of inciting racism on live television in 2014, he said the trial is ‘political.’

The trial – set to start on Monday and last until November 25 at a high security court in Schiphol before a three-judge bench – will see the far-right politician facing charges of insulting a racial group.

“Next Monday, the trial against freedom of speech begins. Against a politician who says what the politically correct elite does not want to hear,” Wilders wrote in a statement, adding he would leave his defense with his legal team led by Geert-Jan Knoops (pictured above), and instead “go to work” by attending parliamentary sessions in The Hague.