Pakistani cricketer sentenced to 12 years jail by Dutch Court

Pakistani cricketer sentenced to 12 years jail by Dutch Court

Khalid Latif, a former cricketer, has been handed a 12-year prison sentence by a Dutch court for inciting the murder of Geert Wilders, a prominent figure in the Dutch far-right political landscape. What's particularly striking about this case is that Latif was absent during the trial, yet the court deemed his statement as incitement to murder and a grave threat.

Despite his physical absence and lack of detention within the Netherlands, the court saw fit to pass this significant sentence.

The prosecutor, FA Kuipers, argued vigorously in court, contending that Latif's intentions extended beyond merely inciting violence with fatal consequences; they also aimed to suppress a Dutch representative. Moreover, prosecutors presented compelling evidence in the form of a 2018 online video where Latif allegedly promoted a bounty for the assassination of Geert Wilders.

This video, which explicitly targeted Wilders, came in response to the far-right leader's plan to organize a caricature competition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), an event that was later canceled due to mounting protests and death threats.

Dutch prosecutors have highlighted the severe danger posed by the video, as it exacerbated existing hostility towards Geert Wilders. Consequently, an international arrest warrant has been issued for Khalid Latif, intensifying the effort to bring him to justice. It's essential to note that Dutch authorities have been trying to locate and engage with the former cricketer since 2018, initially seeking his testimony and later to address the allegations head-on.

This case underscores the global significance of addressing incitement to violence and threats against public figures, even in situations where the accused is physically absent from the trial proceedings.