Dutch prosecutors have withdrawn a court summons for a man accused of insulting the monarchy by shouting ‘fuck the king’ because they need more time to assess the case.
‘Given the objections and requests made by his lawyer, it will take more time to bring this issue to court,’ the public prosecution department said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
Abulkasim al-Jaberi had been ordered to appear before a magistrate on May 27. However, given that the defence plans to call witnesses, more time will be needed to assess those requests and a longer period needs to be reserved for the hearing, the department said.
Abulkasim al-Jaberi was arrested at a demonstration against Zwarte Piet last November for shouting ‘fuck the king, fuck the queen and fuck the monarchy’.
The public prosecution department is taking him to court because he has refused to pay a fine of €500 for the offence. The decision to prosecute him caused a storm of protest and raised questions about the right to free speech.
On Wednesday night, the royal palace on the Dam in central Amsterdam was spray-painted with the text ‘fuck the king’. The government’s building department says the perpetrators were caught on film but that it is not planning to make a complaint against them.
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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