Dutch prosecutors sought anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders's acquittal on hate speech charges Friday, saying his criticism of the Muslim religion, though hurtful to some, was not criminal.

"Criticism (of religion) is allowed," prosecutor Birgit van Roessel told the Amsterdam district court, adding that Wilders' statements were made in the context of public debate and hence not punishable.

The politician, who went on trial on October 4 for calling Islam "fascist" and likening the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf", was defiant in welcoming the prosecution's approach.

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