Dutch anti-Islam firebrand Wilders: Appeals hearing not fair

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has begun an appeal against his 2016 conviction for inciting discrimination and insulting Moroccans by calling for the Hague Appeals Court judges in his case to be replaced, arguing they were not impartial.

Wilders said Thursday, "I am here ... against my will and the least I expected was that you would give me a fair hearing."

Wilders' lawyer says the judges showed they weren't impartial by rejecting his request to call more witnesses and carry out further investigations in the appeal case.

A separate panel of judges will now consider Wilders' request before the case can continue.

Wilders was convicted in December 2016 but given no punishment for comments before and after 2014 municipal elections that judges deemed insulting to Moroccans.

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