Wilders not guilty on all counts - Update
Friday 15 October 2010
The public prosecution department on Friday afternoon stated that Geert Wilders is not guilty of discriminating against Muslims. Earlier on Friday it announced he should also be found not guilty of inciting hatred.
Prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman reached their conclusions after a careful reading of interviews with and articles by the anti-Islam politician and a viewing of his anti-Koran film Fitna.
They said comments about banning the Koran can be discriminatory, but because Wilders wants to pursue a ban on democratic lines, there is no question of incitement to discrimination 'as laid down in law'.
On the comparison of the Koran with Mein Kampf, the prosecutors said the comparison was 'crude but that did not make it punishable'.
Dealing earlier on Friday with incitement to hatred, Van Roessel and Velleman said some comments could incite hatred against Muslims if taken out of context, but if the complete text is considered, it can be seen that Wilders is against the growing influence of Islam and not against Muslims per sé.
On Tuesday, the prosecutors said the MP should not be found guilty of group insult.
The public prosecution department was forced to take the case by the high court after anti-racism campaigners protested at its refusal to prosecute Wilders.