Skip to comments."I shot [Pim] Fortuyn for Dutch Muslims"; Murderer Confesses
Posted on 03/29/2003 9:51:22 AM PST by nwrep
'I shot Fortuyn for Dutch Muslims,' says accused
Friday March 28, 2003
The long-awaited trial of Pim Fortuyn's alleged killer got under way in the Netherlands yesterday with a stark admission from the main defendant that he had assassinated the anti-immigration politician as a favour to the country's Muslim minority and other vulnerable sections of society.
Fortuyn, a flamboyant, openly gay politician who called Islam "backward" and favoured zero immigration, was shot dead last May, plunging the Netherlands into political crisis.
Tipped to become the country's next prime minister, Fortuyn's death galvanised support for his fledgling political movement and prompted politicians from across the spectrum to support an unprecedented immigration clampdown.
Volkert van der Graaf, a 34-year-old animal rights activist, was arrested within minutes of the killing.
A pistol was found on him and his clothes were splattered with Fortuyn's blood; a subsequent search of his home uncovered bullets matching those at the crime scene.
However, he refused to make a statement for seven months, declined to appear in court for procedural hearings and only began to cooperate with the authorities three months ago.
Although he allegedly confessed in November to killing Fortuyn, Van der Graaf had never made a full public confession until yesterday and had never fully explained what motivated him.
"I confess to the shooting," he told a packed Amsterdam courtroom yesterday, which included Fortuyn's two brothers, Marten and Simon.
"The idea was never concrete until the last moment, the day before the attack. I could see no other option than to do what I did."
Studiously avoiding eye contact with his victim's relatives he argued that Dutch Muslims had become "scapegoats" for Fortuyn and alleged that he had exploited "the weak parts of society to score points".
"I saw it as a danger, but what should you do about it?" he said. "I hoped that I could solve it [the problem] myself."
Controversially, Fortuyn had claimed that hardline Muslim views on women and gays were diluting his country's liberal society, and he had argued that Muslim immigrants should accept Dutch values.
Such views sparked a lively debate in the media and Van der Graaf said he had followed that debate with growing concern. He also admitted sending Fortuyn death threats before murdering him.
Van der Graaf, a figure of hate for Fortuyn's many admirers, was heckled throughout yesterday's proceedings. Separated from the court by a bulletproof screen, members of the public repeatedly interrupted to brand him a murderer, chanting: "Life! Life!"
One woman stood up to demand that he be jailed forever saying he had "devastated the country", before she was dragged away by court officials. Fortuyn's brother, Simon, also had harsh words for Van der Graaf whom he said was a control freak and "also a jerk".
The trial, which is taking place amid tight security in a courthouse nicknamed "the bunker", is expected to last up to four days and a verdict to be pronounced by the three presiding judges next month.
Van der Graaf could be jailed for life, which is 20 years in the Netherlands, if the judges decide he is of sound mind and that the murder was premeditated.
The trial is being closely watched by Fortuyn's political heirs but the movement he founded is a shadow of its former self. Elections earlier this year saw it haemorrhage two-thirds of its support.
I guess that means this is the harshest penalty Van der Graaf can face, but are any people concluding that the case means the maximum penalty should be greater (for future cases)?
LOL - Send him to Texas where his life in jail will be considerably less than 20 years.
Wasn't he in Star Wars?
So the gunmen basically ran right into them.
The government of the day refused to give P.F. any protection, even though he had received numerous death threats.
P.F. even stated on TV that the government would be responsible if he was killed, as they continualy refuse to give him protection. (How true he was, because after the assasination the Government fell)
So why were armed police officers waiting just around the corner from the building where P.F. was appearing ? Were they aware something was about to happen ? Is the man in custody a Patsy ?
If he is one of those "do good liberals" and he did this for what he thought the right moral reasons, why would he not sing from the highest tower what he had done and why.
They are going to give a 4 day trial, he will be sentanced and probably killed in jail in a very short period.
Too bloody convenient.
Sorry about the typo, it's after midnight here.
I had no idea that life was so short in the Netherlands nowadays!
Hell, it was over twice that when my namesake lived there!
Electrocution by Van de Graaf generator.
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