A Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani migrant to ten years in prison for planning to murder populist PVV leader Geert Wilders.
The defendant, identified only as 27-year-old ‘Junaid I.’ per Dutch privacy laws, had planned to murder Wilders because he was angered by the right-wing populists ‘draw Mohammad’ free speech event, Dutch daily morning newspaper De Telegraaf reports.
After finding the military-aged Pakistani migrant guilty of preparing a murder for terrorist purposes, the court sentenced him to ten years in prison – a sentence that’s substantially higher than the six years requested by the public prosecutor. During sentencing, the judge noted the more severe penalty was due to the seriousness of the crime and the risk of recurrence.
“The suspect has indicated in several conversations that killing Wilders would be a good deed. He also said that this trial gives him a positive image in Pakistan,” the judge said.
Throughout the trial, the Pakistani migrant denied that he had planned or even wanted to murder Wilders. Junaid I. referred to himself as ‘peaceful’ and that he was only emotional because Wilders had insulted the prophet. He claimed he had only traveled to the Netherlands from Pakistan to protest against the populist MP.
“If he had succeeded in his plan, he would not only have taken away the lives of Wilders. The attack would also have had a huge impact on Dutch democratic society,” the court said.
Wilders lauded the court’s decision after the judgment was read on Monday afternoon.
Junaid I.’s lawyer has indicated that an appeal against the court’s decision may be filed.
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