Tuesday 22 September 2020

Man who threatened prime minister over coronavirus strategy is fined €750

Photo: Depositphotos.comia

A 55 year-old man from Tilburg has been ordered to pay a €750 fine for making death threats against prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge on Twitter, broadcaster NOS reports.

Dion van B, who was also told to write a letter of apology, posted several menacing tweets showing his anger at the corona measures. On June 15 he wrote ‘The country is going to pot. It’s time for a bullet for the whole cabinet and particularly @MinPres and @hugodejonge’.

‘I should not have said it like that,’ Van B told the judge in the case. ‘But that doesn’t change my opinion of the corona policy.’ Van B’s lawyer said the tweets should not be seen as threats. ‘They come under the freedom of expression. The cabinet should fall, is what my client meant to say.’

The judge, however, said the tweets were ‘very threatening indeed. He even used bomb emojis in the messages. This sort of thing goes too far.’

According to Omroep Brabant, the court wanted to sentence the man to community service but because he has health issues, the judge ruled he should be fined and show his contrition in a letter instead.

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