Dutch court acquits Geert Wilders of hate speech charges

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 23, 2011 3:29 AM
Dutch court acquits Geert Wilders of hate speech charges

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Thursday acquitted populist politician Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, in a case that tested freedom of speech in the traditionally liberal country.

The court case has attracted attention, not just because of Geert Wilders' controversial comments about Islam -- which he compared to Nazism -- but also because of the increasing influence of his political party, which supports the minority Dutch government on economic and other issues.

(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger and Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Sara Webb)