SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A man who e-mailed death threats to the leaders of all four coalition parties has been given a suspended sentence of four months and ordered to undergo clinical treatment.
Stefan M., 26, sent threatening messages to prime minister Mark Rutte, Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold, Gert-Jan Segers of the Christian Union (CU) and four other MPs between August and October last year.
M., from Apeldoorn, was angry at the coalition’s plans to cut the Wajong benefit for people whose capacity to work is restricted by illness or disability. M. was originally charged with committing an act of terrorism, but the district court in Zutphen dismissed the charge on the basis of diminished responsibility and found him guilty of serious verbal assault.
Judges ordered M. to follow a three-year clinical treatment programme and move into supervised accommodation. The case was brought by a special unit of the public prosecution service which specialises in threats to politicians, which handles upwards of 200 cases a year. In 2016 its work led to 65 convictions. (DutchNews)