Asia - Pacific

Ex-Pakistani cricketer sentenced to 12 years in jail for 'inciting murder' of far-right Dutch leader

Dutch court sentences Khalid Latif in absentia, who offered $25,000 as head money for Greet Wilders after he announced organizing competition for caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in 2018

Aamir Latif  | 11.09.2023 - Update : 11.09.2023
Ex-Pakistani cricketer sentenced to 12 years in jail for 'inciting murder' of far-right Dutch leader

KARACHI, Pakistan

A former Pakistani cricket player was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday for "inciting the murder" of a far-right Dutch leader.

Khalid Latif, 37, offered 3 million rupees, almost equal to $25,000 at that time, as head money for Geert Wilder in an online video in 2018, after the latter sought to organize a competition for caricatures of Prophet Mohammed, the last and greatest of the prophets in Islam, was convicted in absentia by a Dutch court in the Hague, local English daily NRC Handelsblad reported.

“The suspect has added more fuel to the fire and even urged people to kill Wilders,” the court said.

The Public Prosecution Service had sought the same sentence.

Latif, who played five one-day and 13 T20 internationals for Pakistan, is unlikely to serve the sentence because Islamabad refused the Dutch authorities' repeated requests for questioning and legal assistance.

Following global condemnation and protests, including in Pakistan, Wilders later canceled the caricature contest. However, since 2004, he has been under state protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Mumtaz Zehra Baloch did not respond to Anadolu's request for comment.

Latif was banned from cricket for five years in 2017 for spot-fixing in a Pakistan Super League match in Dubai.

Wilder, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, urged the Dutch government to put "strong" pressure on Pakistani authorities to cooperate "in the arrest and extradition of this now convicted criminal, otherwise, he will still avoid punishment."

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