Dutch court urged to acquit Wilders

Prosecutors want anti-immigration politician cleared of charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.

    Wilders faced a year in jail or a fine on charges that included comparing the Quran to Hitler's Mein Kampf [AFP]

    The trial of Geert Wilders, the controversial Dutch politician who has referred to Islam as a "retarded culture", may come to an abrupt end after prosecutors called for all charges against him to be dropped.

    Prosecutors asked a Dutch court on Friday to acquit Wilders on charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims, the Reuters news agency said.

    DutchNews.nl reported that the prosecutors had initially declined to take up the case against Wilders, but were compelled to do so by the high court after anti-racism activists protested.

    The prosecutors had asked the court on Tuesday to drop a charge that Wilders insulted Muslims by comparing Islam to Nazism, saying that his comments targeted Islam and not Muslims as a group.

    They said he had the right as a politician to make statements about perceived problems in society.

    Wilders, who belongs to the anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV), has maintained that his trial represented the fight for freedom of expression and what he terms the Dutch "way of life".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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