The Public Prosecution Service will prosecute a 37-year-old man from Pakistan who is suspected of having offered 21,000 euros for the murder of Geert Wilders. He would have done that in a video in 2018. The Public Prosecution Service suspects the man of attempted murder, sedition and threats.
Prosecution is probably not going to be easy, the OM acknowledges. Pakistan does not have a legal assistance treaty with the Netherlands, and an earlier request for legal assistance to hear the suspect has not been responded to.
The Public Prosecution Service has today submitted a request for legal assistance to the Pakistani authorities to officially deliver a summons to the suspect for the hearing.
Wilders himself says that it concerns cricketer Khalid Latif. He was banned from playing for five years last year for match-fixing in Pakistan’s cricket league.
Protests and death threats
Thousands of people demonstrated in Pakistan in 2018 in response to a cartoon contest by Wilders. The PVV leader called for drawing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed and offered thousands of euros as the main prize.
Wilders received hundreds of death threats at the time. In August of that year, a 26-year-old man from Pakistan was arrested at The Hague’s central station and threatened to kill Wilders.
PVV leader Wilders is pleased with the summons:
Indian cricketer Latif, who in 2018 offered a €21,000 prize for whoever will kill me, has been summoned and will be reported internationally for arrest and extradition to NL. Tribute to @Het_OM. Now Mufti Jalali and the rest! https://t.co/Mml262m7Fb
April 17, 2023
The Public Prosecution Service says that it is usually difficult to trace threateners from countries with which the Netherlands does not have a legal assistance treaty. Most threats are made under a pseudonym on social media. To verify who posted a message, research in the country of the suspect often has to be done.
But in this case it concerns a well-known person, the OM writes. “That is why the Dutch police recognized him on the images.”
‘Call to Murder’
Wilders yesterday called on the government to take action over a new fatwa – a legal appeal from an Islamic cleric – and death threats from Pakistan.
An extremist Islamic cleric in Pakistan last week repeated an earlier call to kill Wilders. According to Wilders, that fatwa has now become final.
“This is a call to murder. Has the Pakistani ambassador been expelled yet?” Wilders wrote on Twitter.
- Man arrested who threatens to kill Wilders in video
- ‘A lot of noise from a small group’, hardly any attention for Wilders outside Pakistan