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Bias fears justified; Wilders gets new appeals judges

By The Associated Press  |  Posted May 18th, 2018 @ 9:40am

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders will get new judges in his appeal against his 2016 conviction for inciting discrimination and insulting Moroccans, after an independent panel ruled that the original judges may have been biased.

Judges reviewing Wilders' request to replace the original appeals panel said Friday his fear that the panel was biased "can be objectively justified."

In a tweet, Wilders called the ruling "tremendous."

Wilders' lawyer argued Thursday that the original judges showed bias by rejecting his request to call more witnesses and carry out further investigations in the appeal case. Friday's ruling says the judges did not sufficiently reason their rejection.

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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