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Pak ex-cricketer Latif on trial in Dutch MP threat case

BADHOEVEDORP: A former Pakistani international cricketer went on trial Tuesday in the Netherlands for allegedly attempting to incite the murder of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, with prosecutors demanding a 12-year sentence if convicted.

Dutch public prosecutors said Khalid Latif, 37, who remains in Pakistan, had offered 21,000 euros ($23,000) in an online video from 2018 in which he called for Wilders´ killing.

The Dutch MP at the time cancelled a blasphemous competition after angry demonstrations broke out, particularly in Pakistan, and the far-right politician was inundated with death threats.

“Latif tried to move others to murder Mr Wilders and to avenge the cartoon contest,” prosecutor F. A. Kuipers told the judges. “Not only was his goal to end a human life with violence, but with his appeal he tried to silence a Dutch representative,” she said at a court hearing, held at a high security courthouse near Schiphol airport.

The Pakistani embassy in The Hague had no comment directly after the hearing and Latif could not be immediately reached for comment. Kuipers said prosecutors have tried since 2018 to speak to the cricketer and handed over a request to Islamabad for legal assistance, to no avail.

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