Fortuyn killed ‘to protect Muslims’
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Joan Clements in Amsterdam
Published: 12:00AM GMT 28 Mar 2003
A Left-wing activist confessed in court yesterday to Holland’s first political assassination in 400 years, claiming that he shot Pim Fortuyn to defend Dutch Muslims from persecution.
Volkert van der Graaf, 33, a vegan animal rights campaigner, said he alone was responsible for killing the maverick protest leader last May, days before a general election in which the Fortuyn List party vaulted into second place and shattered Holland’s consensus.
Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats” and targeting “the weak parts of society to score points” to try to gain political power.
He said: “I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself.”
Mr Fortuyn’s relatives wore fur coats in the high-security court to show scorn for the animal rights zealot. “I want to cause him maximum pain, I will make sure he notices me,” said Jolanda Fortuyn, a sister-in-law who helped edit many of Mr Fortuyn’s inflammatory books and columns. Read More