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Khalid Latif sentenced by Netherlands court over video post inciting violence

Latif, who lives in Pakistan, was not present at the trial nor has he been detained

Khalid Latif pulls one fine, Pakistan v West Indies, 1st T20I, Dubai, September 23, 2016

Khalid Latif played five ODIs and 13 T20Is between 2008 and 2016  •  Getty Images

A Dutch court has sentenced former Pakistan batter Khalid Latif to 12 years in prison after he was tried in absentia for urging people to murder Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders.
The court ruled that statements by Latif should be regarded as incitement to murder, sedition and threat.
Latif lives in Pakistan and has not attended any stage of the trial or been detained in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands and Pakistan have no treaties in place regarding judicial cooperation or extradition, and earlier requests for cooperation in this case received no response, the prosecution has said.
The court said prosecutors had proved that Latif posted a video in 2018, in which he offered a PKR 3 million (EUR 21,000 approx. at the time) reward for the murder of Wilders.
That video came at a time of fierce demonstrations against Wilders in Pakistan, after he had announced a cartoon contest depicting caricatures of Prophet Mohammad. The competition was later cancelled.
"The words used by the suspect are explicit: he promises to pay a considerable sum of money to anyone who engages in a specific act, namely the killing of Mr Wilders," the Hague district court said.
"It is very likely that someone - anywhere in the world - would feel compelled to act on this call," the court added in reference to the protests, where Dutch flags had been burned and others had also called for the killing of Wilders.
Images of the Prophet Mohammad are forbidden in Islam. Caricatures are regarded by most Muslims as highly offensive.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach Latif - who received a five-year ban from cricket in 2017 over a spot-fixing scandal - for comment. In all, he played five ODIs and 13 T20Is between 2008 and 2016.
Wilders, 60, is one of Europe's most prominent far-right leaders and has been a key figure in shaping the immigration debate in the Netherlands over the past two decades, although he has never been in government. His Freedom Party (PVV) is the third-largest in the Dutch parliament and is the main opposition party. Wilders has lived under constant police protection since 2004.
Edited Reuters copy