From the Wall Street Journal:
When even the prosecution calls for a defendant’s acquittal and the trial judges have been disqualified for the appearance of bias, maybe it’s time to drop the charges. Rather than a retrial, a dismissal would be the best outcome in the case of Geert Wilders, the Dutch lawmaker accused of insulting and inciting hatred against Muslims.
Mr. Wilders is not shy in his criticism of Islam. He has called for banning the Quran, which he has compared to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” Mr. Wilders became famous by making a short film, “Fitna,” which juxtaposes Quranic verses calling for jihad with footage of the aftermath of Islamist terror attacks.
As unattractive as his expressed sentiments may be, they also qualify as free speech, which is why Dutch prosecutors initially dismissed complaints against Mr. Wilders. “No doubt his words are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims,” prosecutors said in 2008, but “freedom of expression fulfills an essential role in public debate in a democratic society.”
That should have been the end if it. However, an appeals court overruled the prosecution last year, forcing Mr. Wilders to stand trial. But the prosecutors still believe that no crime has been committed. “Criticism of a religion is not punishable,” prosecutor Birgit van Roessel told the Amsterdam district court 10 days ago.