The court of appeal in Antwerp will not consider the Dutch corona skeptic Willem Engel until 14 February 2023 against virologist Marc Van Ranst for defamation. That was decided on Tuesday at an introductory session.
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Willem Engel had summoned Marc Van Ranst directly before the criminal court of Mechelen for defamation. Engel blamed the virologist who would have made him for the extreme right, virus denier and scammer. The judge committed himself in August without jurisdiction, because van Ranst was on Twitter and in a newspaper, making it a matter of press offenses and which are fodder for the court of assizes.
Engel appealed against that. The case was brought before the Court of Appeal in Antwerp on Tuesday. Both Marc Van Ranst and Willem Engel there without counsel and they were told that the case can only be heard in 2023. “This room is now over-requested,” the chairman told them. “That gives me enough time to find a new lawyer,” Engel. His lawyer, Michaël Verstraeten, no longer intervenes. “2023! I’m going to have a quiet 2022!” Van Ranst tweeted after the hearing.
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A second similar one is pending before the corrective court in Mechelen, which Engel against tension. This time it is about an announcement that the virologist made in a television interview. Publicly speaking, there has been no crime and the acquittal is urgent. The verdict in that case will follow on December 9.
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