Conspiracy theorists jailed for ‘sado-pedo elite’ claims


Three conspiracy theorists who spread lies about satanic paedophile networks and ritual child murder in the town of Bodegraven have been jailed and given community service sentences by judges in The Hague.

Joost Knevel and Wouter Raatgever were sentenced to 14 and 18 months in jail, partially suspended, while Hans Meijer was given a 100 hours of community service.

A fourth man, Micha Kat, was arrested in Northern Ireland last year and is currently fighting his extradition to the Netherlands to face other charges.

Knevel, who grew up in Bodegraven, began the rumour about a paedophile group in the town in the 1980s which abused and killed children in satanic rites. His story was embraced by the others who spread the theories online using a variety of channels.

At one point, the group spread rumours that RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel had headed the group and he had to be given permanent security.

The men also spread items online calling for executions and tribunals for a ‘sado-pedo elite’, leading other conspiracy theorists to visit the town cemetery and lay flowers on the graves of children who had died there.

The three were earlier ordered to pay €215,000 in damages to the local authority after it was forced to use its emergency powers to ban them from the graveyard and bring in permanent security.

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