PVV leader Geert Wilders was found guilty of group insult by the court of appeal in The Hague on the evening of the municipal elections in 2014, but acquitted of inciting hatred and discrimination. The PVV leader is not punished, because, according to the court, as a democratically elected politician he has been paying a high price for his statements for years.
Wilders has let it be known that he is going to appeal to the Supreme Court. “The Netherlands has become a corrupt country”, said the PVV leader after the verdict. “I’ll always go on. This will make me and the PVV stronger.”
The court had previously convicted Wilders for group insults and incitement to hatred and discrimination. The court didn’t impose a punishment either.
Both Wilders and the Public Prosecution had appealed against the court’s decision. The appeal in the ‘less Moroccan’ trial was heard by the Court of Appeal in The Hague, but because of the safety the hearings and the verdict were in the extra-security court at Schiphol Airport.
The case revolved around a meeting at the time of the results of the municipal elections in 2014. Wilders then asked his supporters whether they wanted more or less Moroccans in the Netherlands. “Less!”, scanned his supporters, on which the PVV leader said: “Then we’ll arrange that”.
Listen to part of the verdict here.
Thousands of people subsequently reported discrimination to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In December 2014 it was decided to prosecute Wilders. The PVV leader always said that he didn’t mean all Moroccans, but only criminal nuisance Moroccans.
But according to the court, his statements went too far and were “unnecessarily hurtful” to all Moroccans. Wilders says that he only identified problems and suggested solutions that were also in his election programme. He thinks he should answer in the House of Representatives, not in court.
Wilders says that the decision to prosecute him was politically motivated, also because the then Minister of Justice Opstelten and his officials interfered. But the court does not find that the minister and the officials at his ministry interfered with the content of the trial.
The judgment also dealt with the personal circumstances of Geert Wilders,