Satanic pedophile network tales cost conspiracy theorists €215,000 in damages
Three conspiracy theorists must pay the municipality of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk over 215,000 euros in compensation after they spread stories about a satanic pedophile network, the court in The Hague ruled. Due to these stories, the town hall was defaced, and dozens of conspiracy theorists flocked to the local cemetery to lay flowers on children's graves.
The conspiracy theorists involved are Wouter Raatgever, Joost Knevel, and Micha Kat. All three of them are currently in custody.
Knevel, who grew up in Bodengraven, claims that in his childhood, he witnessed satanic child murders and was sexually abused by RIVM director Jaap van Dissel and a general practitioner. According to Knevel, the victims of these child murders were buried in the cemetery. No evidence was found for this story, but it nevertheless circulated in videos on the online platform Red Pill Journal.
The videos caused unrest, and the municipality had to arrange extra security around the cemetery. The municipality can now recover those costs from the trio. They also have to cover the municipality's legal costs. The court gave this verdict earlier this month and published it on Wednesday.
Lawyer Cees van de Sanden, who represented the municipality in this case, spoke of a unique situation. "The court ruled that if you make all kinds of statements online and that later turned out to be untrue, you are financially responsible for the damage you cause," he said to the Volkskrant.
The criminal trial against Raatgever and Knevel starts on June 10. They face charges of incitement and (death) threats against Van Dissel, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and the GP in Bodegraven. Kat is in custody in Northern Ireland, fighting his extradition to the Netherlands.
Reporting by ANP