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"I shot [Pim] Fortuyn for Dutch Muslims"; Murderer Confesses
Guardian ^ | March 28, 2003 | Andrew Osborn

Posted on 03/29/2003 9:51:22 AM PST by nwrep

'I shot Fortuyn for Dutch Muslims,' says accused

Andrew Osborn

Friday March 28, 2003

The Guardian

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: dutchmuslims; fortuyn; islam; killings; muslim; religionofhatred; religionofhorror; terrorism

1 posted on 03/29/2003 9:51:22 AM PST by nwrep
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To: nwrep
Weird dudes all around Europe. That's a liberal society for you - it isn't as tolerant as the American utopians teach in college. The various special interest groups are on a course of conflict once the common enemy, conservatism, is vanquished. How can women's rights, gay rights, immigration rights, animal rights, Christians, heathens and Muslim culture co-exist peacefully and maintain any integrity? Only in Hollywood-made TV and radio public service ads.
2 posted on 03/29/2003 10:15:43 AM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: nwrep; knighthawk
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.

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)?

3 posted on 03/29/2003 10:20:17 AM PST by aristeides
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To: nwrep
Van der Graaf could be jailed for life, which is 20 years in the Netherlands...

LOL - Send him to Texas where his life in jail will be considerably less than 20 years.

4 posted on 03/29/2003 10:20:49 AM PST by Jeff F
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To: nwrep
Pim Fortuyn?

Wasn't he in Star Wars?

5 posted on 03/29/2003 10:33:56 AM PST by Mentos
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To: nwrep
The whole story is still very very strange to me. There are eye witness accounts of armed officers in body armour and helments waiting just around the corner from where P.F. was assinated.

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.

6 posted on 03/29/2003 10:55:53 AM PST by John_11_25
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To: John_11_25
from where P.F. was assinated.

You mean "assassinated". "Assinated" is what's going to happen to the animal rights activist in prison.
7 posted on 03/29/2003 10:58:21 AM PST by aruanan
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To: aristeides
And unlike American prisons...he will simply be one of the crowd and not face any retribution. He will make it to the 20 year point and walk out. My guess is that he will never regret what he did. Thats really the sad part about this story...he admits he did it and never felt sorry for a moment.
8 posted on 03/29/2003 11:00:04 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: aruanan
True, LOL

Sorry about the typo, it's after midnight here.

9 posted on 03/29/2003 11:19:37 AM PST by John_11_25
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To: aristeides
Many people here think the punishments are not high enough. But it's almost impossible to change them. Only smaller crimes get punished harder since the last government, the one that Pim Fortuyn battled.
10 posted on 03/29/2003 11:39:38 AM PST by knighthawk
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: nwrep
It's what many (including me) suspected from the first. Wonder if he was paid and by whom.
13 posted on 03/29/2003 7:28:07 PM PST by valkyrieanne
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To: nwrep
This isn't the usual Debka-class Guardian crud is it?
14 posted on 03/29/2003 9:32:27 PM PST by Live free or die
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To: nwrep
Van der Graaf could be jailed for life, which is 20 years in the Netherlands

I had no idea that life was so short in the Netherlands nowadays!

Hell, it was over twice that when my namesake lived there!

15 posted on 03/29/2003 11:16:33 PM PST by Erasmus
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To: nwrep
BTW, if only they had the death penalty over there, I have the perfect form of execution for him:

Electrocution by Van de Graaf generator.

16 posted on 03/29/2003 11:19:07 PM PST by Erasmus
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To: seamole
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.


Maybe there's hope yet.
17 posted on 03/30/2003 5:46:46 AM PST by Tunehead54 (Saturday April 5, 2003 - Clearwater, FLorida Support Our Troops Rally! Be there!)
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To: nwrep
This case is a harbingher of things to come, if you ask me. Radical nutcase muslim kills homo politician. The mad mullahs and the amoral marxist left are natural enemies who can not abide each other.

Their temporary alliance to try to defeat the Free World would plunge into chaos without much of a push. Question is, which one would we prefer to see defeated first? I recommend radical Islam...
18 posted on 03/30/2003 7:25:34 PM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Antoninus
I'd ally with the gays any day over the radical Muslims.
19 posted on 03/31/2003 5:54:37 PM PST by valkyrieanne
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