Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, will be prosecuted over an election rally he led in March that involved anti-Moroccan chants.
The Public Prosecution Service in The Hague decided to prosecute Wilders on suspicion of insulting a group of people based on race and inciting discrimination and hatred, it said in a statement today. More than 6,400 complaints against Wilders were filed.
During a televised rally for municipal elections on March 19 in The Hague, Wilders asked a crowd of supporters: Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city? The crowd responded by chanting Fewer! Fewer! Fewer! after which Wilders said: Ill take care of that. Wilders will also be prosecuted for anti-Moroccan statements made a week earlier.
Wilders, who campaigns on an anti-European Union, anti-Islam platform, has attracted controversy since setting up the Freedom Party a decade ago. He was acquitted in 2011 by an Amsterdam court of charges that he made remarks defaming Muslims. Wilders had called the Koran fascist and compared it to Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf. In his 2008 film Fitna, he called upon Muslims to rip out hate-preaching verses from the Koran.
Politicians are allowed to go a long way in what they say — that goes with freedom of speech — but that freedom is limited by the prohibition of discrimination, the prosecutor said.
Incomprehensible decision Public Prosecutor to prosecute me, Wilders said in a Twitter posting. The elite wants to take the Freedom Party down a peg. They wont succeed. Never.
Wilders was questioned about the allegations on Dec. 8, the prosecutor said. This did not lead to new insights. Geert Wilders submitted a statement and didnt answer questions asked by the criminal investigators, the prosecutor said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Corina Ruhe in Amsterdam at firstname.lastname@example.org
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