news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | December 18, 2014 | 10.28 am IST

Brussels: The Dutch public prosecutor's office announced Thursday that it will bring charges against controversial politician Geert Wilders for inciting hatred in a speech he gave criticising the presence of Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Politicians may go far in their comments under the right to free speech, as a statement by the prosecutor's office said, but "that freedom is limited by the prohibition of discrimination".

Last March, during election campaigning in The Hague, Wilders asked his supporters if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in their city, triggering the chant: "Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!" A smiling Wilders responded: "We'll take care of that."

Those remarks dismayed many people, including members of Wilders' own Party for Freedom (PVV). The public prosecutor later received more than 6,400 complaints and 15,000 reports by citizens and organisations in relation to the comments of the PVV leader.

The prosecution said it had not yet decided the date of a hearing for Wilders, who is one of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands and the subject of numerous controversies arising from his campaign against immigrants and Islam.

In 2011, Wilders was acquitted in a trial in which he was charged with inciting hatred and promoting discrimination against Muslims.

--IANS/EFE

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