April 16, 2003


"THE NETHERLANDS is way too tolerant":

The killer of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was sentenced to 18 years in prison yesterday. Prosecutors had demanded a life term.

Volkert van der Graaf, 33, a vegan animal rights activist, had confessed to shooting Mr Fortuyn outside a radio station in Hilversum on 6 May, 2002, days before the general election. He was arrested minutes later the murder weapon in his pocket, gunpowder on his hands and Mr Fortuyn's blood on his trousers.

"The accused deliberately and premeditatedly robbed Pim Fortuyn of his life. After calm consideration he shot five bullets into the neck, back and skull of Fortuyn who died from his wounds," Frans Bauduin, the presiding judge, said.

The judges said it was unlikely Van der Graaf would kill again ...

Unless he meets someone special.

... and he deserved a chance to rejoin society. The prosecution said it had not decided whether to appeal.

Mr Fortuyn's supporters in the gallery jeered and stamped their feet as the sentence was read. One of them, Patricia Houdkamp, wept. "What do you have to do to get a life sentence? The Netherlands is way too tolerant."

It gets worse:

Van der Graaf looked relieved. With good behaviour and time served taken into account, he could be free by 2014.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 16, 2003 06:14 PM