Pakistani man jailed for 10 years over Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

Published November 18, 2019
Geert Wilders is known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements. — AFP/File
Geert Wilders is known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements. — AFP/File

A Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars on Monday for planning to assassinate anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders after the MP announced a cartoon competition depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The man, identified as Junaid I. by local media, was arrested in August 2018 at a train station in The Hague after he posted a film on Facebook in which he said he wanted to “send Wilders to hell” and urged others to help.

Judges at The Hague's district court found the 27-year-old man, who had travelled from France, guilty of “planning a murder with a terrorist motive” and “incitement to commit a terrorist deed”.

“The suspect more than once said that Wilders' death would be a good deed,” said presiding judge Jan van Steen, who added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution.

“Furthermore, the suspect wanted to commit the murder in one of the parliamentary buildings, the heart of Dutch democracy,” Van Steen said. The suspect had denied any terror-related motives.

He said during the trial that he was “peace-loving” and had only travelled to the Netherlands from France to protest against Wilders' cartoon competition.

The Facebook video was seen by more than 153,000 people and shared 14,000 times.

Far-right leader Wilders cancelled his plans two days later to stage the cartoon competition, a move that angered many Muslims, particularly in Pakistan where widespread protests were held.

Wilders, 56, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements, lives in a safe house and has been granted 24-hour protection by the Dutch state.

The court did not say how Junaid I. planned to kill Wilders but found that in a bugged phone call after his arrest he said he took “specific things with him [...] without which his mission would not be complete”. He had also walked around with a “large backpack, which he did not have when he was arrested” and lied about what it contained, the judges said.

Opinion

A decade of change & stagnation
Updated 20 Sep 2021

A decade of change & stagnation

Over a decade, three more women out of 100 aged between 19 and 39 have acquired college degrees, compared to only two more men.
All about life
Updated 20 Sep 2021

All about life

There is no shortage of issues on which the Single National Curriculum has stirred controversy.
‘Honourable men’
20 Sep 2021

‘Honourable men’

Is it ambition to support our athletes only after they bring us glory?
Concerns of proxy wars
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Concerns of proxy wars

A lobby in the US favours a plan for proxy warfare so that America can sustain its global influence.

Editorial

20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...
Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...