Geert Wilders has told judges at his trial for inciting hatred and discrimination that freedom of expression is the only freedom left to him.
Wilders, who boycotted the rest of the proceedings on the grounds they are politically motivated, decided to attend on the last day of the trial at the high security court at Schiphol airport.
‘I refuse to believe that we will give freedom up like that, we are Dutch,’ he told the panel of judges. ‘That is why we speak out… I will never be silenced by anyone.’
Wilders said he had mentioned the problem with Moroccans in the Netherlands as a politician. ‘And I will continue to do so,’ he said. ‘People who want to stop me will have to kill me first.’
Wilders described the trial as both absurd and politically motivated. ‘This trial stinks all round,’ he said. ‘It is the sort of thing that happens in Turkey or Iran… it makes a mockery of the rule of law.’
The proceedings were triggered by a speech Wilders gave in a cafe in The Hague following the local elections in 2014. He asked a room full of supporters if they wanted to see ‘more or fewer’ Moroccans in the Netherlands, prompting a chant of ‘fewer, fewer.’ Wilders replied: ‘OK, we’ll take care of that.’
The prosecution has asked the court to fine Wilders €5,000 for his comments, arguing that the politician had been ‘unnecessarily offensive’ and attacked an entire population group.
The court is due to issue its judgment on December 9.