Court rules on middle finger gesture

13th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 July 2007, ARNHEM (AP) - Flipping up your middle finger at a Dutch policeman is insulting after all, appeals judges ruled Thursday as they overturned a lower court's decision that the gesture was "extremely impolite" but not a crime.

13 July 2007

ARNHEM (AP) - Flipping up your middle finger at a Dutch policeman is insulting after all, appeals judges ruled Thursday as they overturned a lower court's decision that the gesture was "extremely impolite" but not a crime.

Prosecutors launched an appeal last year after a 25-year-old man who made the gesture to two police officers in the town of Almelo on 25 May 2006, was cleared of committing a crime.

At his original trial in Almelo a judge ruled the man's gesture "while extremely impolite, was not insulting or illegal."

The culprit's name was not released, in line with Dutch privacy laws.

In a written ruling, the appeals court in Arnhem said such a gesture is illegal if it is aimed at "injuring the honour and good name" of the person it is directed at.

"The court believes that in this case the raising of the middle finger can only be interpreted as an expression of grave disdain for the police officers involved and therefore was a gesture intended to hurt the honour and good name of the officers," the judges ruled.

The man was sentenced to three months imprisonment for crimes including theft, public disorder and refusing to give a breath test as well as the middle-finger gesture.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article