A 47-year-old man has been given 80 hours community service and a 90 day jail term, 77 days suspended, for insulting queen Beatrix and sending threatening letters to two mayors, urging them to cancel Queen’s Day celebrations.
The man, a bankrupt bargee, wrote to the queen in March and April, accusing her of being a ‘con woman’ and a ‘sinner’ and calling for the monarchy to be abolished, news agency ANP reported.
In court, the man said he regretted sending the letters. A psychiatrist said the man, who has a mental handicap, was getting rid of the frustrations surrounding the sale of his barge.
The man has already served the 13 days in jail in pre-trial custody.
Tofik Dibi, an MP for the green party GroenLinks, said in a reaction that the sentence is high for the crime.
‘If this had been said to me or any other person, it would not have been a problem,’ Dibi is quoted as saying by ANP. ‘That is freedom of speech. It might be tasteless but you should be able to say it.’
Where do the boundaries of free speech lie? Have your say using the comment form below.
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