Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders can be tried on charges of inciting racial hatred, a court in The Hague ruled on Friday, setting the stage for a politically charged test of freedom of speech laws in the Netherlands.
Judge Hendrik Steenhuis dismissed Wilders’ lawyers arguments that he was being singled out, saying prosecutors have broad leeway in determining when they think someone has crossed the line from offensive speech to discriminatory speech.
Wilders is accused of discrimination and inciting racism for remarks in 2014, televised live, in which he led a roomful of followers in chanting that they wanted “fewer” Moroccans in the Netherlands.
Steenhuis set the start date for the three-week trial on Oct. 31, meaning a verdict would be likely in December – well ahead of national elections in March.
Wilders’ far-right Freedom Party is neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s ruling conservative VVD Party in popularity polls.
Read the Full Article: Source – Reuters
Time For Truth: (Reuters) – Dutch politician Wilders will face trial on charges of inciting racial hatred