Geert Wilders varslet at han ville stevne 18 vitner da rettssaken mot ham åpnet onsdag, blant dem Mohammed Bouyeri, som drepte Theo van Gogh. Wilders er anklaget for uttalelser om islam og muslimer og vil gjerne demonstrere at påstandene kan belegges.

Men aktoratet protesterte mot innkallingen av Bouyeri. Dommerne skal trekke seg tilbake og vurdere vitnene frem til 3. februar.

Tiltalen er på 70 sider. Aktor mener Wilders har brutt loven på fire punkt.

Noen av anklagene er politiske uttalelser som feks. at Nederland er truet av en «muslimsk tsunami». Hvis dette kriminaliseres vil det ha konsekvenser for ytringsfriheten.

The prosecution countered that, unlike the other witnesses — mostly academics and theologians — Bouyeri was not an authority and should not be called.

About 200 supporters of Mr Wilders travelled to Amsterdam District Court from as far as Germany to hold up placards declaring that free speech was under attack by Islam and political correctness. Eighty packed into the public gallery, applauding Mr Wilders and his lawyer.

Ulrich Rosendahl, 46, an engineer who took the day off work to travel from Cologne to support Mr Wilders, held up a banner outside the court which read: «Wilders does as \ Chaplin did. He attacks fascism — Islamo.»

Mr Rosendahl said: «I support what he says and I know he has lived under police protection for many years and I think that he pays a high price to fight for freedom of speech.»

En av aktorene, Birgit Roessel, hevdet at Wilders kun hadde immunitet for det han sa i nasjonalforsamlingen, ikke utenfor. Det hørte ikke inn under hans verv å uttale seg utenfor parlamentet. Det er vanskelig å se hvordan aktoratet kan hevde et slikt standpunkt.

Mr Moszkowicz said that Mr Wilders had a mandate as an MP to speak out against what he saw as the Islamisation of the Netherlands. Birgit van Roessel, for the prosecution, said that «expressing his opinion in the media or through other channels is not part of an MP’s duties.» She said that MPs had immunity for only what they said inside parliament.

Geert Wilders: ‘I want Muslim fanatic to speak in my defence’