Man convicted of nationalist’s murder files defamation case against politicians
The man convicted of killing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 planned to file accusations of defamation against politicians Han ten Broeke and Madeleine van Toorenburg. Volkert van der G. said the two political insiders went too far when they claimed he violated the conditions of his early release from prison, his lawyer Willem Jebbink said in a press release issued Tuesday.
“That is simply not true and these people know that very well,” Jebbink said, accusing the politicians of libel and defaming Van der G. during a broadcast on Saturday. He rejected the argument that it was a matter of free expression, adding, “The public can expect a member of parliament and a director of an independent research institute to stick to the facts.”
Ten Broeke is a former member of parliament from the right wing VVD party, and now runs The Hague Center for Strategic Studies. Van Toorenburg is a current member of parliament for the conservative CDA party.
Over the weekend the two politicians said on a WNL radio program that Van der G. is not adhering to the conditions of his early release, because he has not yet emigrated. Van der G. used his plans to move abroad as an argument to convince the court to lift the release condition that he has to physically report to the probation service on a regular basis.
The court agreed to do so, but the Public Prosecutor appealed. It was eventually agreed between the Prosecutor and Van der G. that he no longer has to physically report to the probation service every six weeks, but send in a written report about his well-being every eight weeks, until 2020, and report for a physical evaluation every six months.
According to Jebbink, his client has dutifully adhered to all the conditions of his release for years - including agreeing to check in with the probation service every eight weeks even after the court lifted his duty to physically report to the service.
"My client made his wish to emigrate clear to the Public Prosecutor for years. It has nothing to do with the media and politicians in what why he will fulfill this wish. The law also puts boundaries to the protection of Volkert's private life", the lawyer said.
Van der G. was convicted of shooting rising populist politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 at a Hilversum Media Park parking lot. The suspect was reportedly found with the handgun used in the crime when he was arrested. Fortuyn, 54, died just days before the Netherlands was set to vote in a general election.
Van der G. was released from prison in 2014 about 11 years after he was convicted. Including the time in custody before the court case, he had served two-thirds of his 18-year sentence, thus qualifying for early release.