Amsterdam - A Dutch criminal justice agency has ruled that
the animal rights activist who assassinated populist politician Pim Fortuyn
days before the country's 2002 national elections is eligible for early parole.
Volkert van der Graaf was sentenced to 18 years for shooting
Fortuyn dead. Fortuyn founded his own party and skyrocketed to popularity on an
anti-immigration platform that broke radically with establishment views. His
killing, arguably the first assassination the country has seen since 1672,
deeply shocked the Dutch.
At trial, Van der Graaf claimed he saw Fortuyn as a
"danger to society". At the time of his conviction, 20 years was
widely regarded as the harshest possible sentence for a criminal who is not
insane. The justice ministry has resisted early release for the 44-year-old Van