Judges to deliver verdicts in Wilders hate speech trial

The court did not impose a sentence.

The three-week trial of Wilders had focused in particular on a statement made at a 2014 local government election rally in The Hague, when he asked supporters whether they wanted "fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands".

In a videotaped response to the verdict, which he did not attend in person, Wilders said: "I will never be silenced" and the ruling was an attempt to "neutralise the leader of the largest and most popular opposition party in the Netherlands".

Populist anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders was found guilty on Friday of discrimination against Moroccans, but acquitted of hate speech in a closely watched trial ahead of next year's key election.

He said no politician was above the law.

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"With his comments, Wilders contributed to a further polarization of Dutch society", Steenhuis said. "Madness." Wilders' lawyer immediately announced an appeal, Dutch national news agency ANP reported. "Fewer! Fewer!" Moroccans in the Netherlands. "The freedom of speech is the only freedom I still have", said Wilders, who is under close police protection.

He denies the charges and insists he was performing his duty as a political leader by pointing out a problem in society.

When the crowd shouted back "Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!" - to which he replied, "we'll take care of it".

Abdou Menebhi, president of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Migration and Development, welcomed the judgment. Wilders, who has gained support on a program of opposition to Islam and the European Union, is pledging to emulate the United Kingdom and take the Netherlands out of the bloc and shut the country's borders to Muslim immigrants if he gains power. "His is an ideology of smearing Europe, migrants, Muslims, without offering alternatives".

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