More Dutch politicians threatened last year

Geert Wilders Purmerend borders closed
Geert Wilders in Purmerend handing out flyers against the opening of an asylum reception center there. Oct. 6, 2015 (photo: PVV). Geert Wilders in Purmerend handing out flyers against the opening of an asylum reception center there. Oct. 6, 2015 (photo: PVV)

The number of Dutch politicians who reported being threatened increased significantly last year. The special police team that deals with threats against politicians received 331 reports last year, compared to 239 in 2016, the Public Prosecutor announced.

Of the 331 reports, 90 were judged a criminal offense. In 2016 there were 65 such cases. Of the 90 registered cases last year, 17 have now been completed. In three cases the perpetrator received community service, one received a conditionally suspended sentence and one was acquitted. Three cases were dismissed. The others were settled in a different way.

Twelve cases will be tried in the near future, and 31 are still being investigated. Another 30 cases were passed on to other public prosecutors for further processing, the Prosecutor said.

According to the Prosecutor, the increase in reported threats has to do with one politician reporting threats more actively. The Prosecutor did not say who this politician is for privacy reasons. PVV leader Geert Wilders regularly says on Twitter that he is reporting threats.

"Whether there is a general trend towards more punishable threats is hard to say", the Prosecutor said. "In 2015 the number of punishable threats was 92."

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