Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 13:30
Murdered populist politician’s family want killer back in prison
Murdered politician Pim Fortuyn's family wants a court to send his killer back to prison. They are convinced that Volkert van der G. violated the conditions of his release. The family wants a court to make a decision because they have doubts about the Ministry of Security and Justice's objectivity in the matter. Volkert van der G. was conditionally released from prison in May 2014, after serving two-thirds of his 18 year sentence. Conditions for his release included that he keep in touch with the authorities, undergo psychiatric treatment and not contact Fortuyn's family or the media. Last week Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice wrote to the lower house of parliament that Van der G. is complying to all conditions for his release. Shortly after that Van der G.'s lawyer, Willem Jebbink, publicly announced that the Minister is creating a false image by claiming that Van der G. is receiving psychiatric and practical counseling. Joost Eerdmans of the Burgercomité tegen Onrecht (the Citizen's Committee against Injustice in English), who is working with Fortuyn's family to get this case back in court, told the Volkskrant that they are disputing the content of Van der Steur's letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. "We read Van der Steur's letter and Jebbink's response, and came to the conclusion that Van der G. is not cooperating in rehabilitation", Eerdmans said to the newspaper. On Monday the Burgercomité and the family haired lawyer Richard van der Weide to assist them in this matter. He has doubts about Minister van der Steur's objectivity in the matter. The Minister was at the center of an earlier controversy around a photograph of Van der G. that appeared in Dutch newspaper the Telegraaf shortly after his release from prison. It later turned out that the Justice Ministry deliberately released the photograph to the newspaper to prevent a scramble among the Dutch media to get the first photograph. According to the lawyer, Van der Steur is no "part of the case" and can no longer be counted on to be objective. "The judgement that Van der G. complies with all requirements was made in this politically sensitive time", Van der Wiede said to the newspaper. "The minister has often been discredited and can not afford any more hassle. The judgement on Volkert van der G. comes from the Public Prosecutor, which falls under Van der Steur. That is why we want the judgement to be reviewed by a court." Van der Weide is exploring the possibility of using an Article 12 procedure to get a court to pick up the case. This procedure is usually used to force the Public Prosecutor into prosecuting someone. If that is unsuccessful, he and his clients will turn to a civil court.