Geert Wilders is a free man. After a trial that has dragged on for a year and a half, he has now been acquitted of all the charges against him.

It took the chief judge just twenty minutes to summarise the court's ruling on five charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. The verdict was greeted with applause from Mr Wilders' supporters in the public gallery. Mr Wilders himself stood up, grinning broadly, and patted his lawyer on the back in congratulation.

A short while later, Mr Wilders emerged to speak to a throng of more than 50 journalists, many from foreign news organisations. Mr Wilders was visibly relieved. He is a tall man, but he stood even taller as he spoke of his victory.

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