Saturday 08 August 2020

Appeal court hearings end in Wilders racial discrimination case

Geert Wilders campaigning. Photo: Depositphotos.com

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.

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