Fortuyn's killer gets Dutch court nod to emigrate

The Hague (AFP) –


A Dutch court on Tuesday moved to allow the killer of far-right Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to live abroad, agreeing he no longer had to report regularly to probation services.

Volkert van der Graaf, 48, was jailed for 18 years for the cold-blooded shooting in 2002 of the outspoken and openly-gay Fortuyn an act that shook the country's self-image as a liberal and safe society.

He was freed in 2014, but one of the strict conditions of his release was that he had to report regularly to the probation service.

Now, a court in The Hague agreed to his request that he be released from the condition and allowed to move abroad.

Reports by the Netherlands Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology as well as the Dutch probation service found there was only a "low risk" that Van der Graaf would re-offend, and concluded there was "no value" in continuing his reporting duties.

However, the court maintained other restrictions on him including that he must have no contact with Fortuyn's family and should not speak to the press.

Fortuyn's family said in a statement they hoped Van der Graaf would "leave the country and never come back," the Dutch news agency ANP said, adding they "never wanted to be confronted by him".

It was not clear where he plans to go, nor whether he would be accompanied by his partner and child.

Widely seen as the forerunner of today's Freedom Party (PVV), led by controversial MP Geert Wilders, Fortuyn labelled Islam a "backward culture" and called for Dutch borders to be closed to immigrants.