Court hearings have ended in the appeal against politician Geert Wilders’ criminal sentence for inciting racial discrimination.
In 2016, the PVV leader was found guilty of insulting a group of people and inciting discrimination, after leading calls for ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’ Moroccans in the Netherlands at a political rally in 2014.
The case went to appeal, after he was given a criminal sentence but no punishment, with the public prosecution service demanding a fine of €5,000. Wilders had also appealed the criminal conviction.
But a court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday that hearings for the appeal were complete, dismissing the claims of Wilders’ lawyer to make unredacted copies of internal emails and documents available. Geert-Jan Knoops had claimed that these showed signs that it was a ‘political trial’, something the public prosecution had denied.
In a final statement to the court, Wilders repeated this assertion. ‘I am not above the law, but what have I done?’ he said, according to NU.nl. ‘I haven’t dealt in cocaine or robbed a bank. I asked my voters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans.’
The appeal court’s decision is expected on September 4.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.