Dutch politician Geert Wilders, accused of discrimination against Moroccan people, has called for an inquiry into “political interference” in his trial.
Rabat – Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders called for a parliamentary inquiry into possible political interference in his trial. The politician is facing an investigation into discrimination and inciting hatred towards people of Moroccan descent.
The appeal hearing began last May, but Wilders’ defense had succeeded in getting the judges removed after allegations of bias.
The appeal will resume later this month.
“Opstelten and the former head of the public prosecutor’s office, Herman Bolhaar, could be on the witness list,” Dutch News concludes.
Dutch News, RTL television Nieuws and the Telegraaf newspaper both reported that there was contact between the minister of justice, Ivo Opstelten, and the head of the public prosecutor’s office in 2014. “Opstelten wanted to see Wilders prosecuted for leading the anti-Moroccan chants at a pre-election meeting.” RTL television Nieuws and Telegraaf newspaper reported.
The current Minister of Justice, Ferd Grapperhaus, refuses to send documents to Parliament detailing the meetings between the two Dutch officials, claiming that there is “no (formal) indication of interference” from his predecessor.
“These documents, prepared as briefings for the minister, will remain secret because of the confidential information they contain,” the Minister of Justice told the deputies.
The case of “Fewer Moroccans” dates back to 2014, when Wilders asked a room full of supporters of his political party if they wanted to see “more or less” Moroccans in the country. When the crowd shouted “Less!”, Wilders replied, “We’re taking care of it.”
In December 2016, Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination and the panel of three judges said Wilders’ comments were “humiliating and insulting to the Moroccan population.”
However, the court decided not to impose a fine or to sentence Wilders on the grounds that a criminal conviction was in itself a sufficient punishment.