An orthodox Jew has been found not guilty of failing to produce an ID card because it was against his religious principles to carry any object on Saturday – the Jewish sabbat – the Telegraaf reports.
The Hague appeal court ruled on Friday the man should not be prosecuted for failing to prove his identity as required by police. He had faced a €150 fine.
‘This religious requirement is more important than the requirement to meet Dutch laws,’ the court press spokesman told the paper.
The paper points out the ruling opens the way for orthodox Muslim women to refuse fines for wearing a face veil and for corporal punishment in the name of religion. The government is in the process of bringing in legislation to ban the Islamic burqa.
The paper states Piet Hein Donner, the minister responsible for introducing the ID law, was warned about the problems it would present orthodox Jews. He said at the time this should be taken into account when the law is put into practice.
The public prosecution department has not yet decided whether to appeal against the ruling.
MPs have urged justice minister Ivo Opstelten to make a statement.