Appeal court judges will next week begin hearing evidence in the Geert Wilders ‘fewer Moroccans’ case, as the PVV leader appeals against his earlier conviction.
The case dates back to 2014 when Wilders asked a roomful of supporters if they wanted to have ‘more or fewer’ Moroccans in the country. When the crowd shouted back: ‘Fewer, fewer,’ Wilders responded: ‘We’ll take care of that.’
In December 2016, Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans. A panel of three judges said Wilders’s comments were ‘demeaning and insulting to the Moroccan population’.
However, the court decided not to fine or sentence Wilders on the basis that a criminal conviction was sufficient punishment in itself. Wilders was also found guilty of insulting Dutch people of Moroccan origin as a group, but cleared of inciting hatred against them.
The appeal court has allocated 11 days to the hearings which will be held in the high security courtroom at Schiphol airport.
Both Wilders and the public prosecution department had appealed against the lower court ruling.
As yet it is unclear if Wilders will actually attend the hearings. He boycotted the court in the 2016 trial but did attend to make a lengthy statement on the last day.