Wilders prosecuted under hate speech law he supported: Law prof.

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No image availableNL Times

Geert Wilders can partly thank the current hate-speech trial against him to a legislative proposal he himself supported in 2005, according to professor of sanction law Henny Sackers. In 2005 the Public Prosecutor filed a motion to increase prosecutioin and punishment for hate speech, racism and discrimination - and Wilders supported it, the Volkskrant reports.

This motion was filed by Wouter Bos, the same person currently leading the prosecution against the PVV leader. Last week Wilders called it "madness" that the Prosecutor demanded a 5 thousand euro fine against him. He also called the prosecuores "allies of the terrorists".

In 2005 the underlying idea behind the motion was to prevent radicalization and jihadism among young Muslims - this was in the months following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Bos, then the leader of the PvdA, argued that terrorism had to be "tackled hard" and the government must prevent that "young people seek refuge in political Islam". To achieve this, the Prosecutor must be able to act more harshly against discrimination, according to the motion.

Geert Wilders - then still a member of groep-Wilders, a precursor to the PVV - supported this motion on February 9th, 2005. In 2007 the Judiciary created the "Designation discrimination". Since then discrimination was more often prosecuted and more heavily penalized. Profesor Sackers can not say whether this was the direct result of the 2005 motion. "But it certainly helped", he said to the newspaper.

"At the very least it is remarkable", Professor Sackers said to the Volkskrant. "Wilders shouts that a political process is running against him. At the same time he as politician demonstratably insisted on criminal approaches. Could this be proof of the proposition that people are for stricter penalties until it happens to them themselves?" 

Today is the last day of substantive hearing in the hate speech case against Wilders, which he is facing because of statements he made about Moroccans while campaigning in The Hague in 2014. At one point he said that The Hague should be a city with fewer problems "and if possible fewer Moroccans". A few days later he asked a cafe full of people whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in the country, they responded by chanting "fewer, fewer, fewer".

While Wilders refused to attend any of the hearing days, he will be present in court on Wednesday to give a statement. The court will rule on December 9th. 


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