Pakistani international cricketer charged for death threats against Dutch conservative Geert Wilders

The accused has been ordered to appear in court in Amsterdam on Aug. 29 for charges of attempting to incite murder, sedition, and threats

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE - Populist Dutch anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders answers reporters after casting his vote in a general election in The Hague, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

The Dutch public prosecution office has charged and will seek the extradition of a former Pakistani international cricketer for allegedly inciting the murder of Dutch conservative politician Geert Wilders, the office confirmed on Monday.

Wilders himself identified the accused as former opening batsman Khalid Latif.

The charge dates back to an online video published in 2018 in which the 37-year-old man offered €21,000 for the murder of a Dutch MP.

The video was published amid the controversy sparked by a competition advertised by Wilders for caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, a competition he canceled after receiving numerous death threats. He had planned to hold an exhibition of the anti-Islam cartoons inside the Dutch parliament.

While Latif did not name Wilders, he announced a 3 million rupee bounty for anyone who would “kill the Dutchmen” responsible for the competition.

On Monday, the Dutch public prosecution office confirmed its intention to prosecute a “famous” Pakistani national for incitement to murder, but when pressed on the specifics, it replied: “We never give names.”

“In this particular case, the suspect is identifiable. He is a famous person in his own country. As a result, the Dutch police recognized him from the images,” a statement from the public prosecutor read.

However, Wilders then tweeted the identity of the accused. “The Dutch public prosecutor will prosecute and subpoena cricket player Khalid Latif from Pakistan who put a price on my head to kill me in 2018. They will ask for his arrest and extradition as well,” he wrote.

It is understood Dutch prosecutors have requested the assistance of Pakistani authorities to serve the summons on Latif, who has been ordered to appear in court in Amsterdam on Aug. 29 for charges of attempting to incite murder, sedition, and threats.

The judicial process could be further complicated by the absence of a legal treaty between the two nations.

When approached by French news agency AFP, Latif denied any knowledge of the criminal charges. “I have no knowledge of this. I will only comment once I get any communication on this,” he said.

The former Pakistani cricketer was banned from international cricket for five years back in 2017 for spot-fixing in a Pakistan Super League match in Dubai, a charge he only finally admitted to last year.

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