Controversial anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders was acquitted by an appeals court in the Netherlands on Friday of discrimination against immigrants with a Moroccan background.
The judges said: “The court cleared Wilders of ‘incitement to hatred or discrimination’ because Wilders’ intent was not aimed at encouraging his audience to do so.”
However, the court upheld his conviction for intentionally insulting Moroccans as a group, a decision that Wilders said he would fight at the Supreme Court.
The charges relate to a speech Wilders made in 2016 when he asked a crowd of supporters if they wanted more or fewer Moroccan immigrants in Holland. “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” his supporters replied, to which Wilders answered: “We’re going to take care of that.”
Wilders leads the opposition in the Dutch parliament and at times his Freedom Party has led the national opinion polls.