Fortuyn killer freed from isolation
28 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — The convicted killer of politician Pim Fortuyn was transferred from isolation to a special wing of the Scheveningen prison on Wednesday morning where he can mix with other detainees, his lawyers have confirmed.
The transfer was based on advice from the Demersluis jail in Amsterdam, where Volkert van der Graaf, was serving out his sentence for the May 2002 assassination of Fortuyn. He had been refused all contact with other prisoners based on fears for his safety.
Van der Graaf, of Harderwijk, had only been allowed contact with other prisoners for part of the period when he was being psychiatrically assessed in the Pieter Baan Centrum, the judiciary’s observation clinic, news agency ANP reported.
But Van der Graaf will be housed from Wednesday in a special Scheveningen wing with other detainees who would also be danger if placed in a normal jail wing. There are about 16 other prisoners in the prison wing, possibly child sex offenders.
It is not yet certain why a decision was made to transfer the convicted killer, public news service NOS said. The Scheveningen wing places extra attention on safety.
Animal rights activist Van der Graaf was sentenced in the Amsterdam Appeals Court in July 2003 to 18-years jail for the murder of anti-immigration politician Fortuyn. The ruling confirmed the 18-year sentence handed down during his Amsterdam trial two months earlier.
Fortuyn was in full pre-election swing when he was shot and killed at the Hilversum Media Park on 6 May 2002. Nine days later, his populist LPF party won 26 seats in the general election and subsequently entered a coalition government with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD. But embarrassing infighting within the LPF brought the government down in 87 days.
After the 22 January 2003 election, the LPF has settled into a relatively stable life in opposition with eight seats.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news