Supporters of Willem Engel caused a stir at a cafe next to the court in inner Mechelen

Supporters of Willem Engel caused a stir at a cafe next to the court in inner Mechelen

The police were summoned to testify to the cafe owner and witnesses.

The case of Willem Engel against Belgian virologist Marc van Ranst attracted Engel sympathizers to Mechelen. Arriving at the court, Engel was greeted by about thirty people who welcomed him with applause and a banner. Engel brought his girlfriend with him, and there was some doubt as to whether she was allowed into the building because the medical statement she relied on to justify her mouth mask exemption was not considered valid in Belgium. In the end, Engel and the woman were allowed in without a mouth mask.


The Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office requested that Engel v. Van Ranst be declared inadmissible. According to the public prosecutor, it is not up to the criminal court, but to the criminal court to look into it.

The virologist was directly sued by Virus Truth Foreman for allegedly calling him a scammer, virus denier and extremist in a newspaper article and on Twitter.


At the start of the hearing, attorney Michael Verstreten, who is assisting Engel in the lawsuit, requested that the evidence provided by Van Ranst be excluded from the file. He had only received a few pieces of evidence from Van Ranst beforehand and noticed on Wednesday morning that changes had been made to that evidence without having access to it. The judge will consider the matter during his deliberations, after which the admissibility of the file and the merits of the case can be discussed.

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