HomeWorld NewsFormer Pakistan cricketer Latif is facing trial for threatening a Dutch MP.

The former Pakistani cricketer is on trial in the Netherlands for inciting the murder of Geert Wilders. Verdict on 11 September.

Badhoevedorp (Netherlands) (AFP) – A former Pakistan international cricketer went on trial in the Netherlands on Tuesday for allegedly inciting the murder of anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, with prosecutors carrying a 12-year sentence if found guilty. demanded.

Dutch public prosecutors said Khalid Latif, 37, who lives in Pakistan, offered 21,000 euros ($23,000) in a 2018 online video in which he called for Wilders to be killed.

The outspoken Dutch lawmaker at the time canceled a contest featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after it sparked angry demonstrations, particularly in Pakistan, and death threats against the far-right politician.

Prosecutor FA Kuipers told the judges, “Latif tried to murder Mr Wilders and inspire others to avenge the cartoon contest.”

“Not only was it his goal to end human life with violence, but with his appeal he tried to silence a Dutch representative,” he said at a court hearing held at a high-security court near Schiphol airport.

Kuipers said before seeking a 12-year sentence, “calling for murder to stop a cartoon contest and offering money to kill the organizer of that contest, as far as the public prosecution is concerned, is a very serious matter.” Severe punishment should be given.” ,

Neither Lateef nor any lawyer was present in the courtroom.

The Pakistani embassy in The Hague did not immediately comment after the hearing and Latif could not be immediately reached for comment.

Kuipers said prosecutors have tried to talk to the cricketer since 2018 and submitted a request for legal assistance to Islamabad, but to no avail.

The Netherlands does not have any treaty on legal aid with Pakistan, he said.

Kuipers said, “The questions we have for Latif are unanswered.”

won’t sit still

Wilders, who was in court during the hearing, told the judges that there was an increased death threat to his life following his plan to hold a controversial cartoon contest.

Wilders, known for his fiery comments about Islam, has been under 24-hour government security since 2004.

Wilders said, “Whatever you think of the cartoon contest, there’s no reason to put a death price on anybody’s head.”

Addressing Latif personally, Wilders, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo, said, “Your calls to have me assassinated will never silence me”.

But at the time, the plan to hold the competition was widely criticized domestically, with politicians, local media and ordinary citizens calling the idea unnecessarily offensive to Muslims.

Latif’s call resonates in the real world, Kuipers said.

In 2019 a Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years in prison for plotting to assassinate Wilders in the wake of the canceled contest.

ALSO READ: Holy Quran desecrated during far-right protest in Netherlands

A man identified as Junaid I was arrested at a train station in The Hague in 2018 after he posted a video on Facebook in which he said he wanted to “send Wilders to hell” and asked others to Was asked to help.

The verdict is to be pronounced on 11 September.

The 37-year-old Latif, who played five ODIs and 13 T20 Internationals, was banned from cricket for five years for spot-fixing in a Pakistan Super League match in Dubai in 2017.

Latif, who showed tremendous talent early on as a cricketer but failed to make an impact at the international level, played his last Pakistan match in September 2016 against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

He completed his ban last year and has since been living a low-profile life in Karachi, coaching at the club level.

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