12 years Imprisonment for Incitement Murder of Mr Wilders

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Den Haag, 11 september 2023

The Hague District Court has sentenced a 37-year-old man from Pakistan for attempted incitement of the murder of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, sedition and threat. In August 2018, this man had posted a video on YouTube, in which he promised to pay a certain amount of money to anyone who would kill Mr Wilders. The court has now ruled that a long-term unconditional term of imprisonment is the only suitable punishment for these types of offences. As such, the suspect has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. 


In August 2018, the suspect recorded a video and posted a video on YouTube or had it posted on his behalf, in which he promised to pay an amount of 3 million Pakistan Rupee to the person who would kill Mr Wilders. The suspect did not mention the name of Mr Wilders. He spoke about the person who organised a cartoon contest and the person who insulted the prophet of God. The court finds that the evidence shows that the suspect intended to target Mr Wilders. After all, shortly before this video was posted, Wilders drew the attention of the international press with the organisation of a cartoon contest depicting the prophet Mohammed. This had also resulted protests and demonstrations in Pakistan.

The police have compared the image of the person in the video with the various photos on the suspect's Facebook profile. The police have concluded, based on a large number of physical characteristics, that the suspect is the person in the video. The court also considers the likeness evident. The court accepts the conclusion of the police.

Court Judgment

The court has ruled that the statements made by the suspect in the video should be regarded as incitement to murder, sedition and threat. The words used by the suspect are explicit: he promises to pay a considerable sum of money to anyone who engages in a specific act, namely the killing of Mr Wilders. The video was posted at a time when fierce demonstrations were being held against Mr Wilders, particularly in Pakistan, involving the burning of the Dutch national flag and others were also calling for the murder of Mr Wilders. It is therefore very likely that someone - anywhere in the world - would feel compelled to act on this call. 

First and foremost, the suspect seriously breached the privacy of Mr Wilders by engaging in his acts. During a period when Wilders encountered much hatred and received many threats due to the announcement of a cartoon content, the suspect proceeded to fuel the flames and even went as far as enticing people to kill Mr Wilders.

The suspect's acts also constitute a violation of the Dutch democratic state under the rule of law. The statements made by the suspect not only contributed to the hate and threats made to Mr Wilders, they also constituted a risk that free speech in the Netherlands is limited to unacceptable levels and that elected representatives are no longer free to perform their essential task within the democratic legal order. The court has taken this into consideration in determining the punishment. The court wishes to set an example by imposing this punishment. It should be clear, not only to the suspect, but to everyone that such offences could result in severe punishments.

The court finds that term of imprisonment of 12 years, as demanded by the public prosecutor, is appropriate and necessary and therefore imposes this punishment on the suspect.