No further investigation in Wilders hate speech appeal; Ruling Sept 4
The appeals court in The Hague on Wednesday rejected Geert Wilders' lawyers' request for further investigation into the hate speech allegations against the PVV leader. That brought hearings in the appeal trial, which revolves around statements Wilders made about Moroccans in 2014, to a close. The court will rule on September 4, NU.nl reports.
Last week, Wilders' lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops asked for a complete version of documents that were previously released through the freedom of information act, among other things. Parts of these documents, which include things like internal emails from the Public Prosecution Service, were blacked out. The defense lawyers believed that the un-edited versions will show that there was political interference in the decision to prosecute Wilders - something the Prosecutor repeatedly denied.
In his closing statement, Wilders called the trial against him a witch hunt. "I am not above the law, but what did I do? I didn't trade in cocaine or rob a bank. I asked my constituents whether they want more or fewer Moroccans," the PVV leader said.
The court previously convicted Wilders of group insult and incitement to discrimination, but imposed no punishment. Both in the original trial and on appeal, the Public Prosecution Service demanded a fine of 5 thousand euros against the far-right politician.
If Wilders or the Prosecutor are not happy with the appeal ruling on September 4, they can still file for cassation with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will not retry the case, but will check whether the case was handled correctly by the courts.