Mr Chairman, Honorable Members of the Court.
It remains unreal to be here.
Behind this pulpit, in the same building where not long ago the criminals of the mocromaffia had to appear in court and the MH17 trial is being held. Where usually mob bosses and terrorists are tried.
For five years now, I have been distracted from my work by this lawsuit. While fellow party leaders were preparing important debates in the House of Representatives, I was here in court or with my lawyer preparing Court sessions.
This has been the reality for five years, Mr Chairman, members of the Court. At least, my reality. Five years of hearings, investigations, recusals and hearings.
With countless hours of preparation and hard work by myself, but above all, and thank you for that, from my lawyers.
And all those police officers, prosecutors, advocates-general, judges and even half the Department of Justice who spent years, from the moment of the declaration circus to today’s hearing, working on my criminal case, could have spent their time prosecuting and trying the real criminals in the Netherlands.
Of course I am not above the law. But what did I do then? I did not rob or kill anyone, rob a bank or trade in cocaine, but I spoke about Moroccans at a market in The Hague and asked my voters on an election night whether they wanted more or less Moroccans. I practiced my profession as a representative of the people, as a leader of the opposition and, again, during election time.
And from the beginning, chairman, members of the Court, from the beginning we have argued that this is a political trial. A political trial about political statements.
Done in election time by the leader of the opposition on a market and at a meeting of the Party for Freedom. The debate about this belongs in the House of Representatives, in our parliament, not here in this courtroom. The decision must come from the voter, not from a judge.
But unlike Mr Oudkerk of the Labor Party who spoke of bastard Moroccans or Messrs Samsom and Spekman who said that Moroccans should be humiliated and have an ethnic monopoly on trouble making or Prime Minister Rutte who said that Turks should get out, or Mr Pechtold who said that he still had to meet the first Russian who corrects his mistakes himself, unlike them I was prosecuted.
Because my party is not the Labor Party or the VVD, but the Party for Freedom. Not a decades-old director's party, but a relatively young people's party. An opposition party. With a mission.
Of course, namely fighting democratically for the preservation of our freedom and protecting the Netherlands from the dangers of Islam, mass immigration and cultural relativism that undermine our freedom. And make the Netherlands safe by acting hard against criminals, whoever they are.
It is harsh to note that I now receive letters from the Public Prosecution Office almost every month saying that hundreds of people - and I am not exaggerating - who have threatened to kill me from inland and abroad will not be prosecuted, because that would cost too much investigative capacity.
While those who threaten me, want to chop my head or have issued a fatwa on me, in which Muslims in the Netherlands are called upon to behead me at home, or threaten to rape or murder my family members, are left alone by the same Public Prosecution Office. The ones threatening me often go free, most of the time, and I am prosecuted for years by the Public Prosecution Office for asking a question during election time. Incomprehensible.
I will never be silent. I can't and I don't want to. I will continue to mention the problems, such as the problems with Islam, with mass immigration and yes, certainly also with the Moroccans problem.
Because, Mr Chairman, members of the Court, we have a huge Moroccan problem in the Netherlands. Moroccans are just about overrepresented in all wrong statistics, from crime to benefits dependency and terror. Even when it comes to threats to Islam-critical politicians like myself, Moroccans - from the Hofstad group in 2004 to this day - are overrepresented.
I am not responsible for that, they are themselves. I identify those problems and propose solutions to them. That is my profession. The fact that naming and raising them and the solutions I propose for them are not always perceived as politically correct by everyone should be the subject of political debate, not of lawsuits.
My duty is to speak, one and a half million voters have chosen me to do so. Not to be silent or to be mealy-mouthed, but to speak on behalf of those 1.5 million people.
But freedom of speech and a political opinion are not respected if you are opposition. If you criticize the multicultural society and Islam. Then you have to answer before the judge. Then no resources are shunned to silence a political opponent.
That did not work in the Wilders 1 trial, luckily I was acquitted. But only after a colleague of yours from Amsterdam, a former councilor of the Amsterdam Court, tried to influence a witness during a dinner party. The court was recused and that judge, that councilor eventually resigned.
All that was needed after that was a new reason. Former minister Opstelten wanted the Public Prosecution Office to prosecute me, because I got in their way.
That was stated by, as you know, an anonymous official who worked in the Department of Security and Justice in 2011. The reason, Mr. Chairman, members of the Court, was found in March 2014.
Because what happened in the days and weeks after March 19, 2014 can hardly be described.
A witch hunt, a pure witch hunt, I have no other word for it. Driven by ministers who did not leave a camera moment unused to create an atmosphere in which it had to come to trial.
Prime Minister Rutte told children in the Youth News that I wanted to expel them from this country and then reassured them that this would not happen. That was so very false of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. As if I had said that. The political boss of the Public Prosecution Office, former Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten, even demanded that I take back my words.
Declaration parades were organized with mayors leading the way. Such as in Nijmegen, where CDA mayor Bruls treated the declarants to coffee and tea, while the marching band was gathered and played a cheerful tune. I'm not making it up, it actually happened. Stacks of pre-printed declaration forms were ready everywhere.
The police went to mosques to help fill out the police forms and also said they themselves did not like Wilders' statements. Labor Party city council members helped with translations. And mosque visitors who often did not know exactly what it was about, were pressured to sign the declaration forms.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Court, it was a true smear campaign. And, as we know now, much more happened behind the scenes. We know this despite all attempts by the Public Prosecution Office to prevent further investigations into political interference, to cover them up, even apart from their lies in an official report drawn up on oath of office.
We know this despite the collective amnesia of the protagonists such as former minister Opstelten, director-general Roes and former chairman of the Board of Attorney-General, Mr Bolhaar, during their interrogation with the commissioner.
We know this despite the inadequate and selective answers, especially in the beginning, by the current Minister of Justice, Mr Grapperhaus, to many dozens of parliamentary questions. We know it thanks to persistent requests on the part of the defense and thanks to a journalist such as Pieter Klein of RTL Nieuws who has been sinking his teeth into a Wob procedure against the State to uncover all the documents and the truth.
And while I am convinced that we do not even know everything yet, what has now surfaced is shocking. Nauseating.
Because it is now certain that top officials of the Department of Security and Justice, under the political responsibility of former Minister Opstelten, were involved in this criminal case, and directed a political reckoning.
In violation of all the rules of the separation of powers, they not only interfered with my persecution but also contributed to my conviction.
The ministry's lawyers helped devise defenses that the defense could bring up. They adapted press releases and helped close legal gaps to maximize the chances of success. For example, officials from the Ministry of Justice advised the Public Prosecution Office to involve the passage 'then we will arrange that'.
You have seen the documents yourself. In addition to inciting hatred, they also found incitement to discrimination conceivable. They even wanted to 'read along' with the prosecutor’s requisitoir - whether they did it or not, they wanted to do that - to get me convicted.
And the Public Prosecution Office wanted to make the decision to prosecute me public, well before the Provincial Council elections. Of course to hit me as hard as possible politically. The Advocates General have also not been reluctant to misrepresent the law and case law to your Court. Even last week, the Advocate General stated that the Karman criterion would no longer apply. That is total nonsense. The advice of the Advocate General at the Supreme Court says something completely different.
Mr. Chairman, in violation of all the rules of the trias politica, officials of the Ministry of Justice not only helped the Public Prosecution Office in terms of content but also strategically to maximize the chance of a conviction. They called me "evil". I hope you saw that too. That is truely hate, Mr. chairman. Ministry of Justice officials who call a MP of the opposition malicious.
And I, as a suspect - I also told you last week and I cannot repeat it enough - all these years I had to fight not only against the Public Prosecution Office, which every suspect must do, but also against the Ministry of Security and Justice. And that is unfair. That makes the trial unfair.
Everything proves that the separation of powers has been trampled on. And that is unacceptable. Hence my repeated request to you; restore the trias politica. Because what signal do you send, Mr. Chairman, members of the Court, if you still grant the Public Prosecution Office the right to prosecute, after all we know now?
Then you say that political control by officials is allowed. We allow interference by officials. The separation of powers is only for textbooks.
And then Mr. Chairman, members of the Court, everyone, especially those with dissenting political views and certainly those who are not in power but in opposition, are outlawed. Then we are outlawed.
You shouldn't let that happen. Correct this. Declare the Public Prosecutor inadmissible, protect our rule of law. Do not accept this.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Court,
The uncovered official messages that we were able to see, thanks to your Court, also show that the Public Prosecution Service itself was far from convinced of the legal feasibility of a criminal case. And rightly so, because there was nothing wrong with my question.
The documents even show that the Public Prosecution Office saw 'insufficient leads' for a prosecution for the statement on March 12. That they had come to the conclusion, after extensive internal deliberation, that there was no case of inciting discrimination.
This political guidance from the Ministry of Security and Justice led to a broad charge, including incitement to discrimination. That's what happened. Subsequently, I was also convicted of that, for something that the Public Prosecution Office itself did not believe was the case, in its prosecution decision of 10 September 2014.
The advice - which I also told you last week - of their own experts from the LECD, who thought that the statements on March 19 were not unnecessarily offensive, that too was brushed aside. The Public Prosecution Office also went for a sentence on both my statements, of March 12 and 19, 2014.
Partly because they were afraid of the reactions of Moroccans if they did not prosecute me. One of the motives, admitted by the Public Prosecution Office: they were afraid, because otherwise they would get those angry reactions from Moroccans.
And so, Mr Chairman, members of the Court, the Public Prosecution Office went into the courtroom with full force and demanded, among other things, a conviction based on nonsense reasoning about race. Which race mister chairman? Moroccans are not a race. Belgians are not a race. No nationality is a race. I'm not a racist. My constituents are not racists. The Dutch are not racists.
I have been criticized a lot, including by my political opponents, but I have never been called a racist except here. And that is malicious. That is the malicious Public Office, which wants to push through.
And, Mr Chairman, members of the Court, I would also have incited hatred against Moroccans, incited my audience and I would have – can you believe it - damaged the reputation of Moroccans. How do you come up with that? Who thinks of up that craziness?
And what did I actually say?
I only spoke about Moroccans in a market and asked questions on an election night. And anyone who knows even a millimeter about politics knows that election nights are often accompanied by political speeches with slogans, one-liners and maximum use of the rules of rhetoric.
Election evenings are usually not lecture halls where party positions are viewed and analyzed from all sides. This is how it works during election time. This is how it works at political meetings of almost all political parties.
And indeed I also said at a market in The Hague, in the beautiful Loosduinen district, "if possible less Moroccans".
A few minutes after a Moroccan lady came up to me and said she would vote for the Party for Freedom, because she was sick of the trouble caused by Moroccan youth.
And on election night I first asked the PVV audience: "Do you want more or less European Union". And I did not explain in detail why the answer could be less. Namely because we have to reclaim our sovereignty and regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders.
I then asked the audience, "Do you want more or less Labor Party?" And I did not explain extensively on that stage why the answer could be less. Namely because they are the greatest cultural relativists, the champions in turning a blind eye and cowardly hug Islam. But I didn't say that at the time.
And then I asked: "Do you want more or less Moroccans?" And I did not explain on that stage why the answer could be less. Namely because people with a Moroccan nationality in the Netherlands are strongly overrepresented in crime, benefit dependency and terror.
And that we want to achieve this by deporting criminals with dual nationality after denaturalization - which is already happening with terrorists, in accordance with the applicable law. So that is the case, Mr Chairman, members of the Court, for everyone with dual nationality, including Swedes and Canadians, although you hardly see them in our crime statistics, let alone in our benefits statistics. But that absolutely also applies to Moroccans who are criminals and have dual nationality. And we want to achieve this by pursuing a stricter immigration policy for immigrants from Islamic countries and an active voluntary remigration policy.
Points that have been in our election program since the day I founded the Party for Freedom. And which I did indeed explain extensively when I walked off the stage, about two minutes later, in all live television interviews, where I was then asked about that statement. I said that. I explained what I meant by both the statement on the market and the election evening, as well as on the election evening itself.
Denaturalize and deport criminal Moroccans and pursue voluntary remigration and emigration policies. I answered that question on television a few minutes after I left the stage. Although the Public Prosecution Office now pretends that none of this matters.
And as if it didn't happen and wasn’t said.
And of course, Mr Chairman, members of the Court, I don't have anything against all Moroccans. Whoever claims such a thing, is false and evil. I never said that. There are many Moroccans in the Netherlands who abide by the laws and they are equal to you and me and everyone else. But the fact is also that Moroccans are strongly overrepresented in crime, benefit dependency and terror - don't forget, about eighty percent of Dutch who went to Syria, were Moroccans. We have a major Moroccan problem in the Netherlands. Which does not mean that all Moroccans in the Netherlands are no good. I did not say that and I never intended that.
I didn't say anything wrong and there was nothing wrong with the question I asked.
I didn't say anything that I don't mean or what is not acceptable. And yet I stand here. And that is harsh. Because freedom of expression, Chairman, members of the Court, is about the only freedom I have left.
It has now been almost sixteen years since I lost my personal freedom. That I got personal security in October 2004.
And a month later, after the murder of Theo van Gogh in November 2004, I turned out to be on the hit list of the Hofstad group and I was taken out of my house in Venlo by the police, never to return again.
I lived in barracks and prisons with my wife to be safe. For months in Kamp Zeist in the same cell and the same bed as one of the perpetrators of the Lockerbie attack. I wore wigs, mustaches and glasses to live unrecognizable in other locations. There were no safe houses at the time. I live in a safe house now, in a state house.
My agenda, business and private, is shared with the security services every week and with the secret service every day. I haven't emptied my own mailbox for sixteen years, I don't open my own front door - I don't even have a key to my own house. Nor is it my own home. I do not drive my own car, do not live in my own house, I sleep in a safe room with walls thicker than those of the Dutch Bank, and when I go on vacation every now and then, a lot of police officers always come along.
And why? Because I speak about Islam. About Mohammed. And yes, also about Moroccans. I criticize Islam. People want to kill you then. Take you to court.
Often those threats also come from Moroccans. If you would walk a mile in my shoes, then you would have liked it a little less. That is also the context.
I ask you: do not take away my freedom of speech, do not punish me for using the only freedom I have left: the freedom to think what I want and to speak about matters that affect me and many of my constituents.
Which is; the Islamization of the Netherlands. Which is; terror and insecurity. Which is; crime and therefore also the fact that Moroccans are overrepresented in just about all statistics. As an elected politician, I can and should mention that.
Our children and our grandchildren must be free and safe. If I have to – of course I prefer not to - but if I have to, I give my life for that, in order to preserve the freedom of my country - the Netherlands - and those to whom that country belongs - the Dutch.
Mr Chairman, Honorable Members of the Court. This is my final word in Court. But I will never be silent.
And I will continue to fight for the full truth when it comes to the political influence of officials on the decision to prosecute me. Because what we know now is far from all there is to know. And I'm going to make sure that cesspool opens up completely. And that will still happen.
And those responsible should know, a storm is coming. I will, of course, pursue them neatly politically and legally with democratic means, until the whole truth is revealed and they have all paid a high price for it.
And I appeal to you, from the bottom of my heart. Do not let yourselves be used for political games. Do not let yourselves be used for a political trial.
Freedom of expression is one of the most important freedoms we have. Protect it. Freedom of expression belongs to all of us and is our most important asset.
Also for parliamentarians. I am a parliamentarian and leader of the largest opposition party and, again, I would be worth nothing if I no longer mention problems. If I keep quiet about the Moroccan problem, if I keep quiet about Islam. And I will never do that.
I check the government. I make laws. I am a co-legislator.
I make proposals. That's how I arrange things, because I'm a Democrat at heart.
I don't hate anyone, I despise discrimination, I have no problem with any race or color, I don't dislike all Moroccans nor do I want all Moroccans out of the country, but I say honestly and I will keep saying that: we have a life-size problem in the Netherlands, with both Islam and Moroccans.
In that context, asking a question about more or less Moroccans with the instruments of immigration, remigration and denaturalization is not only legitimate, but also has become partly government policy. And that falls within the political debate and can never be punishable.
I therefore ask you to declare the Public Prosecution Office inadmissible. There is - I think - reason enough for that. But if you do not want to do that, then acquit me. I did not say anything wrong, nor was there anything wrong with the question I asked. Leave the political debate where it belongs, in parliament. Do not legalize the political debate. And put an end to this endless legal torture.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you much wisdom in your deliberations in the council chamber.