Pakistan ex-cricketer Khalid Latif named in Dutch MP threat case

AMSTERDAM (AFP): The Netherlands said Monday that it was prosecuting a “famous” Pakistani for allegedly inciting the murder of a lawmaker, with anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders saying the suspect is former international cricketer Khalid Latif.

The Dutch public prosecution service said a 37-year-old man had offered 21,000 euros ($23,000) in 2018 for the killing of a Dutch MP through a video on the internet, without identifying the suspect or the target.

“In this particular case, the suspect is identifiable. He is a famous person in his own country. As a result, the Dutch police recognised him from the images,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Wilders, who cancelled a competition for ‘blasphemous’ cartoons in 2018 after demonstrations and death threats, tweeted that the suspect was former Pakistan opening batsman Latif.

“The Dutch public prosecutor will prosecute and subpoena cricket player Khalid Latif from Pakistan who put a price on my head to kill me in 2018. They will ask for his arrest and extradition as well,” Wilders tweeted.

He paid “tribute” to prosecutors and asked them to prosecute other people whom he accused of making threats.

A spokesperson for the Dutch prosecution service, when asked to confirm that Latif was the suspect, responded that “we never give names”.

Latif himself said he was unaware of the charges.

“I have no knowledge of this. I will only comment once I get any communication on this,” he told AFP.

Dutch prosecutors have now submitted a request to Pakistan that it serve the summons on the suspect, but said this would be “very complicated” as the two countries have no legal treaty.

Latif has been summoned to attend a court near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on August 29 on charges of attempting to incite murder, sedition and threats.

Dutch media reported that prosecutors had also asked to question Latif in 2019.

The Pakistani embassy in The Hague had no immediate comment.

Latif, 37, was banned from cricket for five years in 2017 for spot-fixing in a Pakistan Super League match in Dubai.

He was banned on charges of orchestrating a deal for his fellow opener Sharjeel Khan to play dot balls ((when a ball is bowled and the batsman fails to score off it) in return for money in a Pakistan Super League match in Dubai in 201

Latif completed his ban last year and has since been living a low-profile life in Karachi, coaching at club level.

He played the last of his 13 Twenty20 internationals in September 2016. He also played five One Day Internationals (ODIs) for Pakistan.