No prosecution for perceived threat against far-right leader

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) decided to drop the case against an Utrecht lecturer accused of threatening FvD leader Thierry Baudet. After the populist party's major election victory in March, the lecturer made a post containing the text 'Volkert, where are you?" on Facebook. The FvD and Baudet pressed threat and incitement charges against him. But the Prosecutor concluded that the text is not enough to constitute a concrete threat.

With the Facebook post, the lecturer was clearly referring to Volkert van der Graaf - the man who murdered politician Pim Fortuyn while his populist party LPF was gaining massive support in 2002. "Although it is understandable that a reference to such a serious and shocking case is considered inappropriate, the Public Prosecutor sees no legal grounds for prosecution", the Prosecutor said in a statement.

"For threats or incitement, someone must have the intent to frighten someone else or to make others commit a criminal offense", the Prosecutor said. The lecturer posted the remark in question on the personal Facebook page of another person with whom he regularly debates political ideas. It was this other person who shared the post publicly. The Prosecutor concluded that the lecturer wanted to provoke a discussion with the person whose Facebook page he posted on, and did not intend for the post to reach and frighten Baudet or other FvD members. 

Apart from the lack of intent, the Public Prosecutor also considers the phrase 'Volkert, where are you?' not concrete enough to constitute an actual threat or incitement to commit a crime. "Although the reference to the 2002 crime mentioned is clear, there is no actual threat. There is also no question of a direct call to commit a criminal offense", the Prosecutor said.

The case against the lecturer was dropped and he is no longer a suspect. 

 

Tags: