The public prosecution department on Thursday dropped the case against a man accused of insulting the monarchy by shouting ‘fuck the king’, stating no offence had been committed.
After a ‘thorough investigation’ officials decided the statement was not a crime because it was made ‘within the public debate’, the department said in a statement.
Abulkasim al-Jaberi had been ordered to appear before a magistrate on May 27 after refusing to pay a €500 fine. He was arrested at a demonstration against Zwarte Piet last November for shouting ‘fuck the king, fuck the queen and fuck the monarchy’.
That decision to prosecute him caused a storm of protest and raised questions about the right to free speech. The dispute led the public prosecution department to delay the trial pending ‘further investigation’.
Al-Jaberi’s lawyer Willem Jebbink says that his client did not mean to insult anyone. ‘What he is effectively saying is “get rid of the king”,’ Jebbink told broadcaster Nos.
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