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article imageDutch anti-Islam MP lodges 'discrimination' case against PM

By AFP     Nov 30, 2017 in World

Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders on Thursday sought to take legal action against Prime Minister Mark Rutte, accusing him of discrimination against the Dutch people.

"We are treated like second class citizens in our own country. That's why I am seeking action against Mark Rutte", Wilders said on a website set up for his campaign.

"Enough is enough. If there is anyone who is badly treated in the Netherlands, it is the Dutch themselves," he added.

The MP, whose Freedom Party came in second in March elections winning 20 seats in parliament, visited a police station in The Hague to drop off a letter to the prosecutor's office and boxes full of statements of support. Police closed off the street as a precaution.

"Dutch people will have to pay 50 percent more VAT on their purchases, while foreign investors pay zero percent tax on their investments," Wilders said on Twitter.

He also attacked what he said was "free medical care for asylum seekers".

Most legal experts interviewed by Dutch media said the complaint had very little chance of succeeding, pointing to Rutte's immunity as prime minister.

Wilders himself will return to court in May to appeal his 2016 conviction for discrimination.

The December ruling found him guilty of discrimination against Moroccans in a speech at a 2014 election rally. He was however acquitted of hate speech.

His action against Rutte came amid a row sparked by US President Donald Trump who on Wednesday retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right leader including one falsely claiming to show a Muslim beating up a Dutch boy on crutches.

The Dutch embassy in Washington took the unusual step of publicly criticising a sitting US president.

"@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law," the embassy said in a Tweet.

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