Europe

PEGIDA leader going on trial in Germany for incitement

  • Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)

    Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, wears sunglasses as he sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)

    Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, wears sunglasses as he sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, wears sunglasses as he sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)

    Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of Germany's PEGIDA movement, wears sunglasses as he sits in the courtroom of the local court during the beginning of the trial on accusations of incitement in Dresden, eastern Germany, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer/pool)  (The Associated Press)

The anti-immigration group PEGIDA's best-known figure is going on trial in the German city of Dresden, charged with incitement over Facebook posts calling foreigners "cattle" and "trash."

Lutz Bachmann's trial at the district court in Dresden starts Tuesday and is scheduled to last until May 10. Incitement can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

Dresden prosecutors say that, with the September 2014 posts, Bachmann was trying to incite Germans against refugees. Bachmann co-founded PEGIDA, short for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, which has staged weekly protests in Dresden and spawned similar though less successful groups elsewhere.

Bachmann has said that the trial is "purely politically motivated" and meant to discredit him and PEGIDA.