Former Pakistan cricketer Khalid Latif has found himself in troubled waters as Dutch court has sentenced him for 12 years in prison. He has been accused of offering a bounty of 21,000 euros (USD 23,000) to anybody who killed lawmaker Geert Wilders. Latif had posted a video online regarding the same back in 2018.
Latif had allegedly offered a bounty after Wilders had said that he would organise a competition of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. However, the contest did not go ahead after the outrage in Muslim countries. For the unversed, Muslims consider any depictions of Prophet Mohammad as insulting to god. Coming back to the case, ever since Wilders has been living under protection due to repeated threats to his life for fierce criticism of Islam.
Latif neither appeared in a high-security courtroom near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for the trial nor he was represented by any lawyer. Interestingly, throughout the trial, Latif’s name was not taken. Instead, he was referred to as a famous Pakistan cricketer by the prosecutors. “The court has now ruled that a long-term unconditional term of imprisonment is the only suitable punishment for these types of offenses,” the statement from the court read according to AP.
An international warrant has been issued against Khalid Latif even as the prosecutors claimed that they have been trying to contact the cricketer since 2018. Latif never appeared in court neither as a witness nor to answer the charges. Perhaps, the prosecutors also stated that they didn’t receive any reply from Pakistan authorities. Notably, this is not the first time that Latif has found himself in controversy. He was banned in 2017 from all forms of cricket for his role in a match-fiing scandal in Pakistan Super League (PSL).
(Inputs from PTI)