A prosecutor’s office in The Hague has launched an investigation into a Dutch citizen on accusations of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to a complaint from the Turkish Embassy, BBC Turkish service reported on Wednesday.
A 64-year-old man living in Sittard province in the southern part of the Netherlands had sent five e-mails to the Turkish Embassy in 2016 in which he likened Erdoğan to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and used the word “pig” to describe the Turkish president.
Dutch police located the man’s address after the embassy’s complaint about the e-mails.
The prosecutor’s office, charging the man based on a law considering the “insult to the leader of a friendly nation” as a crime, will announce the date of his trial on Friday.
In 2016, the Dutch government proposed a bill to revoke the law, saying it was “outdated.” The bill was recently approved by the House of Representatives; however, it still requires confirmation by the Senate.
The man’s lawyer, Raimon Maessen, said the prosecutor’s office should drop the case in accordance with the bill.
The prosecutor’s office, however, said the law is still in force.
According to the law an insult is punishable by six months in prison, but the insult of the leader of a friendly nation foresees eight months’ imprisonment.
Far-right Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders criticized the prosecutor’s office and tweeted, “The Dutch judiciary is at the command of dictator Erdoğan.”