A man who posted a video on Facebook threatening to send anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders ‘to hell’ has been jailed for 10 years.
Junaid I., a 27-year-old Pakistani national, travelled to the Netherlands in August last year after Wilders announced a competition for cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. In the video, recorded in Urdu, I. pledged to do everything in his power to stop ‘the dog’ Wilders.
Unusually, the 10-year sentence was considerably higher than the six years demanded by the prosecution service. Lawyers for I. did not say immediately if he would appeal.
In court, I. denied that he intended to murder Wilders, but the panel of judges said they were satisfied that he was planning a ‘terrorist attack on a politician’.
‘Wilders was exercising his freedom of speech. The suspect wanted to carry out an attack in one of the parliament buildings: the heart of Dutch democracy,’ wrote the judges.
‘The attack would therefore have meant disrupting of the fundamental political and constitutional structures of the Netherlands. Such an attack would have caused a wave of fear.’
The PVV party leader praised the judges on Twitter after the verdict was delivered.
Wilders cancelled the cartoon competition at the end of August following weeks of mass demonstrations in Pakistan and a march from Lahore to Islamabad, encouraged by the Islamist political party TLP.
The next day Afghan refugee Jaweed S. stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam’s Central Station in an attack which he said was provoked by the cartoon contest. The 20-year-old was jailed last month for 26 years and eight months. The court heard he had travelled from his home in Germany with the intention of killing as many people as possible.
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