Former Pakistani international cricketer, Khalid Latif, is currently on trial for allegedly inciting violence against Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders. Dutch prosecutors are pursuing a 12-year prison sentence for Latif.
Prosecutors informed the court on Wednesday that they were seeking a 12-year sentence for Latif, who is being tried in absentia. The 37-year-old Latif, residing in Pakistan, is facing charges of incitement to murder, incitement to criminal acts, and threatening violence against Wilders, as reported by Reuters.
The charges stem from an incident in 2018 when Latif posted a video offering a reward of approximately 21,000 euros at that time for the murder of Wilders. This video was a response to Wilders’ announcement of a cartoon contest featuring caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which was later canceled. It’s important to note that depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are considered blasphemous in Islam, and caricatures are deeply offensive to most Muslims.
Attempts to reach Latif for comment by Reuters were unsuccessful. Notably, Latif had previously received a five-year ban from cricket in 2017 due to his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal. He had also captained the Pakistan team during the 2010 Asian Games.
Geert Wilders, aged 59, is a prominent figure in European far-right politics and has played a significant role in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands over the past decade. Despite never holding a government position, his Freedom Party (PVV) is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament and serves as the primary opposition party. Wilders has lived under constant police protection since 2004.
In a statement addressing Latif directly, Wilders asserted that he would not be intimidated by such threats. He described Latif’s call for his murder and the offered reward as despicable, emphasizing that it would not silence him.
It’s worth noting that there are no existing treaties between the Netherlands and Pakistan regarding judicial cooperation or extradition. Previous cooperation requests in this case did not receive a response, according to the prosecution.
The court is scheduled to deliver its verdict in this case on September 11