UPDATE: The public prosecutor stated that Geert Wilders did not break any laws but the judge does not have to follow the procsecutor's findings. The judge will issue the verdict November 5th.
What the prosecutors say is not necessarily what the judge will say. Let's hope the judge follows the prosecutor's guidelines and even then, the plaintiffs may still appeal. Unending. (hat tip Harrie)
JT Wenting adds:
He could still get a year in prison, and/or a big fine.
That's the maximum penalty for the original charges that were brought (if they'd been valid).
And of course, if found guilty, a next step would be for someone to try to get his political party declared illegal, under Dutch law it's possible for a court to declare an organisation illegal if its leader(s) are convicted of crimes for activities related to the organisation's running.
The final verdict came in today. And while the truth of the case would have been self-evident in a free society, the verdict was hardly assured. Wilders is not guilty and so, in a way, goes the free world. For Wilders was our proxy in this war against the sanctity of free speech. Wilders was our proxy in this trial -- free men, free speech were on trial for our very lives and way of life. It was, in fact, a heresy trial, a throwback to the Middle Ages, where Islamic law (the shariah) most comfortably lives. That the charges were even brought is indicative of how deep the sharia has penetrated western societies. The totalitarian influence of the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) is undeniable, far-reaching and evil -- freedom of speech in the age of jihad.
It is not incitement or discrimination to speak the truth -- and this is the essense of our battle. There can be no candor or criticism of Islam under the sharia.
The very idea that Wilders could be accused of "inciting hatred against Muslims" is laughable. Where, when have we seen this? Nowhere. What we have seen repeatedly and brutally is Muslim hatred against non-Muslims in the Danish cartoon "crisis," the assassination attempts against cartoonists, politicians, artists, etc., embassies burning, etc.
Think about what these useful idiots were attempting to indict.
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.