Willem Engel, a Dutchman known to question the importance of the coronavirus, is again suing virologist Marc Van Ranst for defamation. The case should be introduced on September 13, a few days after a first judgment awaited in a case opposing the same protagonists. Willem Engel had criticized Marc Van Ranst for calling him a con artist, coronasceptic and extremist. As the comments had been made in the press and on Twitter, the Mechelen prosecutor’s office pleaded the inadmissibility of the proceedings. In Belgium, it is the Assize Court which is competent for press offenses, the prosecution recalled. A judgment in this first case is expected on September 9.
Marc Van Ranst let it be known on Twitter on Tuesday that he was facing a new subpoena. The virologist does not give his opponents much chance of success and believes that Willem Engel and his lawyer, Michael Verstraeten, are abusing unnecessary legal proceedings.
Mr Van Ranst describes the approach of Engel and his lawyer, himself founder of Viruswaanzin.be, as “legal intimidation and abuse of power”. “Engel put on a play and we all play the game“, he said.” J‘truly hopes the man will now be fined by the court for the abuse“.