Kruger, the co-host of Channel Nine's Today Extra program, left her fellow presenter David Campbell and Today host Lisa Wilkinson, now at Network Ten, visibly discomfited on July 18, 2016, after she said she would like to see the immigration of Muslims to Australia "stopped now ... because I would like to feel safe".
Her comments followed a terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day and were a response to a column by conservative commentator Andrew Bolt, who wrote in the News Corp press that jihadist terrorists had made France "Europe's bloodiest battlefield" because "France let in the most Muslims".
"We are fools not to change our own immigration policies to protect ourselves," Bolt said.
Kruger said on air: "Personally I think Andrew Bolt has a point here that there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks."
The former Dancing With The Stars host added she had "a lot of friends who are Muslim who are peace-loving, who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics".
She said Japan had a population of 174 million – inflating its population count by almost 50 million people – including 100,000 Muslims, and "you never hear of terrorist attacks in Japan".
"Personally I would like to see it [the immigration of Muslims] stopped now for Australia because I would like to feel safe as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day and I'd like to see freedom of speech," Kruger said.
The tribunal said Kruger's comments were "calm and measured" and she "made it clear she did not think every Muslim in Australia or overseas was a fanatic", but taken in context her comments were likely to encourage or incite "feelings of hatred towards, or serious contempt for, Australian Muslims as a whole" by linking them to terrorist attacks.
It accepted that Kruger and Nine were "acting in good faith without malice and not for an improper purpose" but said it "cannot accept that the remarks of Ms Kruger were 'reasonable'".
"She expressed the view that the size of Australia’s Muslim population meant there should be no further Muslim migration irrespective of any other matter. This appears to be unsupported by any evidence or material placed before the Tribunal," the tribunal said.
Bilal Rauf, spokesman for the Australian National Imams Council, said the tribunal had recognised the "gravity and irresponsible nature of Ms Kruger's comments" and "such conduct and comments directed at any segment of our diverse society, particularly by a person with a public platform and profile, should be rejected and strongly discouraged".
But Mr Rauf said the decision to dismiss the proceedings pointed to a "serious deficiency" in NSW's Anti-Discrimination Act and "it would appear that discrimination on the grounds of religion is not prohibited".
"ANIC calls on the government to closely consider this issue and take steps to bring the important anti-discrimination laws up to date," Mr Rauf said.
In an impassioned retort after Kruger's on-air comments, her co-host David Campbell said: "This breeds hate. This sort of article breeds hate."
Wilkinson interjected that "in fact the very first person who was killed [in the Nice terror attack] ... was a Muslim woman so it's killing Muslims, it's indiscriminate".
"Just to clarify, Sonia, are you saying you would like our borders closed to Muslims at this point?" Wilkinson said.
Kruger replied: "Yes I would."
Wilkinson added that this was the " Donald Trump approach".
A day after the segment, Kruger delivered an on-air statement in which she said she felt Bolt's column "made some relevant points" but wanted to "make it very clear that I have complete respect for people of all races and religions".
"I acknowledge my views yesterday may have been extreme. It is a hugely complex and sensitive issue, it’s an issue with no simple answer and it’s an issue that cannot be fully discussed in a short televised segment."
Comment was sought from the Nine Network.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are owned by Nine