The police closed the Telegram channels with the name Batavian Republic and Batavian News on Monday. Threats and incitements against drivers were shared in the channels. That has it Public Prosecution Service (OM) announced. Earlier, some participants had already been sentenced for threatening, among others, RIVM director Jaap van Dissel and the mayor of Bodegraven. Conspiracy theories were shared in the channels about, among other things, networks of pedophile Satanists who allegedly murdered children in Bodegraven.
Batavian Republic and Batavian News had more than 13,000 members “and were growing”, according to the Public Prosecution Service. The immediate reason for closing the channels was the advertising that was made for a new channel. In this new channel, videos would be posted with “threatening, incendiary and defamatory content,” the Justice Department reported. These videos had already been removed by order of the judge. Because the new channel was advertised in Batavian Republic and Batavian News, members were able to take note of the punishable content. The new channel was already removed by the founder on Friday.
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The two channels were founded by former journalist Micha K., Wouter R. and Joost K. The three are now all in prison. Wouter R. has been sentenced to nine months in prison for, among other things, threatening Van Dissel. Micha K. is detained in Northern Ireland and has yet to appear in connection with an extradition request by the Netherlands. Joost K. has been extradited by Spain and is suspected of threatening Van Dissel and outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD).