Excerpt:

Dutch judges on Friday hand down their verdict in the closely-watched hate speech trial of populist MP Geert Wilders, with experts saying a conviction will simply embolden the anti-Islam politician ahead of elections next year.

Prosecutors are seeking a 5,000-euro ($5,300) fine for the firebrand far-right politician, who faces charges of insulting a racial group and inciting racial hatred after comments he made about Moroccans living in the Netherlands.

The verdict falls three months before general elections, for which Wilders is currently topping the polls ahead of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberals.


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