Fortuyn killer to be granted leave from prison

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Volkert van der G., the murderer of politician Pim Fortuyn will be granted monthly leave from prison. The Council of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles RSJ decided today that Van der G. should be allowed outside prison walls to prepare for his reintegration. It considered proper return to society is more important than the possibility that it will spark unrest.

Van der G. (44) shot and killed Fortuyn on May 5 2002, as he was campaigning for the elections of that year. At his trial, Van der G. said he murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak members of society" in seeking political power. He was convicted on 15 April 2003 and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

In May 2014 he will have served two-thirds of his sentence, which could make him eligible for early release, preceded by leave.

But two months ago State Secretary of Justice Fred Teeven decided that Van de G. should not be granted leave, because there were too many risks associated with that. Teeven approved a reintegration program that would keep Van der G. inside prison, but Van de G. appealed to the Council for the Application of Criminal Law to reconsider.

The RSJ said Teeven’s arrangement was not sufficient, because it did not include arrangements that include leave in the “free society”. RSJ said that before May, Van der G. should be allowed to live in the “free society” several times. The Council ordered that he be granted monthly leave starting February 2014. It said that special security measures could minimize the threats of unrest.

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