"Hate Speech" Show Trial
"Putting this son of a bitch in jail is suicide. He has to sign or we'll never get that metal."
"No, we need an example, not a martyr."
"We can't set a precedent here. Not with this man."
Those are the pivotal lines in this scene from the movie adaptation of a favorite book. The end of the scene came to mind when I read about the verdict in the just completed trial of Geert Wilders on the charge of "hate speech."
Populist anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders has declared that he and his voters are not racist, despite being found guilty on Friday of discrimination against Moroccans.
He was acquitted of hate-speech in a closely watched trial ahead of next year's key election.
In their verdict, the judges said 'the inflammatory character of the way in which the statements were made have incited others to discriminate people of Moroccan origin.'
But they added that there was 'insufficient evidence' that his words at an election rally in 2014 amounted to incitement to hatred.
The judges also dismissed the prosecution's request to impose a 5,000 euro fine on the far-right MP, whose Freedom Party (PVV) is eyeing an upset victory in the March 2017 polls.
'In this case, the most important question is whether Wilders has crossed a line. This judgement has answered that question,' the judges said in their verdict.
'Therewith, the chamber finds that justice has been done. Consequently, no punishment is imposed.'
"Not a martyr" indeed.
Wilders, 53, immediately gave notice that he intended to appeal his conviction, as he believed it was 'a big loss for freedom of speech.'
The most recent opinion polls predict the PVV will top the vote, saying it could seize 34 seats in the 150-seat lower house of Dutch parliament, some 10 seats ahead of his nearest rival, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberals.
Rather than hurting the controversial lawmaker, observers say his trial has boosted his popularity among Dutch voters, worried about the influx of immigrants and driven by eurosceptic sentiments.
Posted by JohnGalt at 7:33 PM
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June 28, 2016
'es a 'oss!
Nigel Farage, being hosslike (and having some kind words about Mister Trump).
Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM
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