Europe

Dutch free killer of anti-Islam politician Pim Fortuyn

  • 2 May 2014
  • From the section Europe
Pim Fortuyn - file pic
Pim Fortuyn's blunt language created a big stir in Dutch politics

The Dutch authorities have released the man who murdered the flamboyant anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002, now that he has served two-thirds of his jail sentence.

Volkert van der Graaf, an animal rights activist, got 18 years after shooting Fortuyn in the head in Hilversum.

The murder stunned Dutch society, only days before elections. Big gains had been expected for Fortuyn's party.

Van der Graaf said he had seen Fortuyn as a threat to minority rights.

No information has been released about Van der Graaf's whereabouts now. He has to wear an electronic ankle tag and must report weekly to police.

He has expressed remorse for the murder, and prosecutors do not think he will be a repeat offender.

Van der Graaf (left) later expressed remorse over the killing

Fortuyn was an openly gay sociology professor who scorned Islam as a "backward culture". He wanted to drastically cut the numbers of immigrants entering the Netherlands - and his message appealed to many voters.

The Pim Fortuyn List (LPF) helped pave the way for the Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, whose criticisms of Islam and immigration echo Fortuyn's.

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