Pegida founder charged with hate speech

The founder of Germany's anti-Islamist Pegida party is set to go on trial on hate speech charges.

Lutz Bachmann is accused of inciting racial hatred after he made a series of Facebook posts where he called refugees "cattle" and "trash".

The 43-year-old's trial in Dresden will be held amid tight security.

Pegida's rallies have attracted thousands of supporters in Germany, with the movement even spreading to numerous countries since launching in 2014.

The group’s demonstrations were in the spotlight this January in Cologne after the Cologne Police Department received a barrage of reports of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.

The attacks were largely blamed on people from North Africa who allegedly entered Germany illegally or have sought asylum. No trials involving suspects from the Cologne assaults have taken place.

Nevertheless, Pegida's anti-immigration demonstrations have often been met by counter protests.

The court says Mr Bachmann "disrupted public order" through his comments, which constituted an "attack on the dignity" of refugees.

If found guilty, he could face between three months and five years in prison.