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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Activist on trial for Pim Fortuyn murder<br><br>
27/03/2003 - 10:19:11 am<br><br><br><br>
An animal rights activist who confessed to the first political assassination in modern Dutch history went on trial today for shooting Pim Fortuyn.<br><br><br><br>
Volkert van der Graaf, 33, was arrested moments after the populist politician was gunned down in a car park outside a radio studio on May 6.<br><br><br><br>
The shooting came just days ahead of a general election in which Fortuyn was running for prime minister on an anti-immigration platform.<br><br><br><br>
Although Van der Graaf confessed, under Dutch law prosecutors need to present their case to a panel of judges. There are no jury trials in the Netherlands.<br><br><br><br>
Van der Graaf was caught with the murder weapon in his pocket and spatters of Fortuyns blood on his trousers. In November, he admitted carrying out the murder, saying he had been worried Fortuyn was gaining too much power and posed a threat to vulnerable members of society.<br><br><br><br>
He is charged with premeditated murder and faces life in prison if convicted. During several days of hearings at a high-security courtroom nicknamed The Bunker, judges will consider his mental state at the time of the shooting and whether he can be held accountable for his actions.<br><br><br><br>
For the public, the trial may provide insight into the character and motives of a man who thrust the country into crisis.<br><br><br><br>
Fortuyn, a brash gay academic and columnist, swiftly gained popularity with calls to close the borders to newcomers, at one time calling Islam a backward religion. His party won more than 10% of the electorate and a place in the three-party right-wing governing coalition.<br><br><br><br>
After its unprecedented rise in power, bickering in Fortuyns party led to the fall of the government and fresh elections in January. With coalition talks ongoing, political stability has yet to returned to the country.<br><br><br><br>
A graduate of the countrys leading agriculture university, Van der Graaf went on to become a tough and successful lawyer against commercial animal farming. At the time of the murder, he lived with his long-time girlfriend and baby daughter.<br><br><br><br>
In prison, he went on hunger strike for more than two months to protest against round-the-clock camera surveillance in his cell.<br></div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.breakingnews.ie/2003/03/27/story93287.html" target="_blank">http://www.breakingnews.ie/2003/03/27/story93287.html</a>
 

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Fortuyn was running for prime minister on an anti-immigration platform.<br><br><br><br>
You cant run for prime minister in the Netherlands.<br><br>
His party had never been in the election, but he claimed that they would be big and in that case he should be the prime minister. Iirc they had 26 seats of the 150.<br><br><br><br>
He is charged with premeditated murder and faces life in prison if convicted.<br><br><br><br>
And illegal possession of a fire weapon.<br><br>
Life could be 20 years and with good conduct two third of that. If he will be judged to have a mental disorder he could be sent to a special mental hospital for treatment after that.<br><br><br><br>
Van der Graaf went on to become a tough and successful lawyer against commercial animal farming.<br><br>
He wasnt a lawyer. When a farm wants to build a new shed or expand they have to ask for a new license or permit.<br><br>
The request of such a thing is published and people with local (or special) interest can object to the license.<br><br>
He worked for an association that was specialized in that kind of objection procedures.
 

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The conclusion is that Volkert (his first name) can be held fully accountable for what he did.<br><br>
The report said that he is a highly intelligent person with strong principles.<br><br>
The prosecution will most likely ask for a life sentence.
 

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If your going to assassinate someone, you have to do it right. He didnt.<br><br><br><br>
Still, you must admire his willpower to stand against all odds to do you he thought was right. Then we get into the 'is he mentally stable' and 'is his idea of right, well, right?'
 

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I have a feeling he was mentally screwed up, and a possible less than 20 years away from society is probably not long enough to protect society. IMO.
 

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Trail is finished now, verdict in 14 days.<br><br><br><br>
He was asked if he has remorse for what he did.<br><br>
And what he said came down to this.<br><br><br><br>
If he had know what the effects where for his wife and kids he might have made another decision. He has had a lot of mail in prison and it helps him in the learning process he is in now. He has had hate mail, but also mail from people who think he did the right thing.
 
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