Ex-Pakistan cricketer gets 12-year jail term from Dutch court

Khalid Latif sentenced to 12 years in prison for inciting the assassination of Dutch MP Geert Wilders

NEW DELHI | Updated: 14 September, 2023 5:59 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistani cricketer Khalid Latif has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Dutch court for inciting people to assassinate MP Geert Wilders.

Latif, in an online video, allegedly offered a sum of 21,000 Euros (approximately $22,500) for the assassination of Wilders.

This act was in response to Wilders’ plan to organize a cartoon-making competition featuring Prophet Mohammed. However, he canceled the contest after protests erupted in Pakistan, and he received numerous death threats. Since 2004, the MP has been under 24-hour state protection.

In the court ruling, presiding Judge G Verbeek emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating that it was entirely possible for someone, anywhere in the world, to heed Latif’s call to eliminate Wilders.

During the trial, Khalid Latif’s identity was not disclosed, but prosecutors confirmed that it was a Pakistani cricketer offering a reward of 21,000 euros to kill Geert Wilders, as seen in a video posted online in 2018.

In a statement, the court justified its decision by highlighting that “The court has now determined that a lengthy and unconditional prison term is the only appropriate penalty for such grave offenses.”

Geert Wilders has lived under constant protection for an extended period due to persistent threats to his life, stemming from his outspoken criticism of Islam.

Responding to the judgment, Greet Wilders said, “It’s a good sentence, but it’s a pity that the accused is not here in court.”

“It is no longer acceptable that the Pakistani authorities refuse to cooperate. I am going to ask the prime minister to ensure that Khalid Latif is arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the Netherlands,” he added.


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