Fortuyn Murderer May be Released
THE HAGUE, 03/10/13 - There is a strong chance that the murderer of Pim Fortuyn will be released in a few weeks. State Secretary Fred Teeven will take a fresh decision on this next week.
Teeven wrongfully rejected a request for leave from the prison for Volkert van der Graaf, the murder of politician Fortuyn, the Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice ruled Wednesday. Teeven must make a new assessment of the request for leave by 14 October.
Van der Graaf was given an 18-year prison sentence in 2003 for the murder of Fortuyn a year earlier, whose party Pim Fortuyn List was at that moment the biggest party in various polls. The environmental activist shot him at close range with six bullets nine days before the elections.
When Van der Graaf has served two-thirds of his sentence, he will be eligible for early release. This would be in May 2014. The Council has however now ruled that a trial leave can also be permitted before this date, because “the re-socialisation of Van der Graaf weighs more heavily than society’s unrest and the risks that allowing leave can bring.”
Last year, Teeven said that Van der Graaf should not be released early as long as this would cause social unrest. The Party for Freedom (PVV) wants Teeven to stick to this promise. The conservatives (VVD) also believe that Teeven should not allow the trial leave.
Teeven expects to make a decision next week. “It can be that I will decide he does not get any leave,” he said Wednesday.
Christian democratic (CDA) MP Peter Oskam also considers that social unrest weighs more heavily than the re-socialisation. “We hope that the state secretary will decide not to allow the leave after all.’
The Lower House wants a debate on the possible leave, but after Teeven has made a decision.