Dutch to prosecute two Pakistanis for inciting MPs murder

Dutch to prosecute two Pakistanis for inciting MPs murder
Dutch to prosecute two Pakistanis for inciting MPs murder

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Dutch prosecutors said yesterday they were putting two Pakistani nationals on trial for incitement to murder anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, asking Islamabad for legal help in the matter. — AFP pic

THE HAGUE, Feb 29 — Dutch prosecutors said yesterday they were putting two Pakistani nationals on trial for incitement to murder anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders, asking Islamabad for legal help in the matter.

Judges in September last year sentenced Pakistani cricketer Khalid Latif to 12 years behind bars for urging people to murder Wilders after the firebrand lawmaker sought to arrange a competition for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Public Prosecution Service said it was prosecuting two Pakistani nationals, one a religious leader, 55 and one a political leader, 29, “who have called upon their following to murder a Dutch member of Parliament.”

“This was done both during meetings and on social media through video and text messages,” it said in a statement.

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The religious leader allegedly called for Wilders’ murder as his followers would be “rewarded in the afterlife”, while the political leader said since Latif’s conviction it was “up to his own followers to carry out the task”.

The two men are set to go on trial at a highly-secure courthouse near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on September 2.

Dutch authorities have asked Islamabad for legal assistance to question the suspects and serve summonses to appear in court.

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However no treaty exists with Pakistan for mutual legal assistance and it seems unlikely the two men will ever appear in the dock.

Wilders posted two names on X, formerly Twitter, but prosecutors did not give the suspects’ names because of privacy reasons.

The names could not independently be verified by AFP.

“I hope they will be extradited, convicted and jailed!” Wilders said.

Dutch authorities have sought in vain to question Latif over the case and requested legal assistance from Pakistan, also to no avail.

Wilders cancelled the cartoon contest after protests broke out in Pakistan and he was inundated with death threats. He has been under 24-hour state protection since 2004.

In the Netherlands, the plan to stage the contest was criticised widely with politicians, local media and ordinary citizens slamming the idea as needlessly antagonising Muslims.

But the call to kill Wilders appeared to resonate, with a Pakistani man sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2019 for plotting his assassination in the wake of the cancelled contest. — AFP

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