New Finance Min. presses charges against Covid conspiracy theorist over doxing tweet
D66 leader Sigrid Kaag will file charges against Viruswaarheid leader Willem Engel after he shared her address on Twitter. A spokesperson for the party confirmed this after a report by AD. Last week, a man was arrested outside Kaag's house, carrying a burning torch and shouting conspiracy slogans.
Engel shared a photo on Twitter of a request for information at the Land Registry. Kaag's house number and postal code are visible in the image. Engel wrote that he wants to know "whose name this house is on," partly because, according to him, Kaag has ties with the Open Society Foundation. This organization, which works for "inclusive and vibrant democracies," belongs to American-Hungarian philanthropist George Soros. He is often the target of far-right and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Engel later deleted the image, writhing that sharing the photo was "in no way" a "call or incitement to intimidation or violence or threat." "We are decent people." According to him, this is about the "transparency of someone who becomes Minister of Finance."
Asked for a response, Engel said he had to remove the photo from Twitter to keep access to his account. He said the company previously informed him that he had not violated the usage rules but then restricted access. He had nothing against removing the image because, according to Engel, all discussion about the photo detracted from the question it was about - "are our rulers blackmailable?"
He finds Kaag's intention to file charges against him "very unwise," because according to him, there was no criminal offense. "I'm very curious about what she wants to report," said Engel. "If she really likes this, by the way, I would like to drink a cup of tea or coffee with her," said the frontman of Viruswaarheid.
Kaag said last week that she found the incident with the torch "threatening and terrifying." "The systematic threats to politicians undermines the rule of law and democracy," Kaag wrote in a statement. "That means that we all, and I mean all of us, have a role and responsibility. We cannot let it pass in silence."
Politicians are increasingly often threatened at their homes. Outgoing corona minister Hugo de Jonge said last week on talk show Op1 that he experienced threats and intimidation near his home on a nearly daily basis. A police post has since been placed on his street.
Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker also revealed that he was threatened at home.
Reporting by ANP.