Volkert van der Graaf In Court

Animal rights activist and confessed murderer Volkert van der Graaf appeared in court at the end of March and explained how and why he killed Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn just days before that country’s 2002 election.

Van der Graaf told the court,

I got the impression that he was looking for a scapegoat he could use to increase his popularity. That was a great concern to me.

. . .

I saw him as a highly vindictive man who used feeling in society to boost his personal stature. The ideas he had about refugees, asylum seekers, the environment, animals . . . He was always using or abusing the weak side of society to get ahead.

Van der Graaf told the court that he was not a violent man, which was a bit odd given that police found dozens of condoms filled with explosives and a timer device in the attic of his home. Van der Graaf maintains he was simply fascinated by explosives and never intended to use them. Right, just like he was fascinated with guns but never intended to kill someone who had different political views.

A psychiatrist who examined Van der Graaf testified that he was sane, but had an obsessive compulsive disorder that manifested itself in “perfectionism and a rigid morality.” A rigid morality? From an animal rights activist? You don’t say.

Van der Graaf’s conviction at his trial is a foregone conclusion, with the only remaining issue being the length of his sentence.


Pim Fortuyn murder suspect says he made explosives. Abigail Levene, Reuters, March 31, 2003.

Fortuyn suspect had explosives. Associated Press, March 31, 2003.

Fortuyn killer beset by doubt. The BBC, March 31, 2003.

‘Sane’ Volkert faces life for Fortuyn shooting. Expatica News, March 31, 2003.

Fortuyn killer ‘acted for Muslims’. CNN, March 27, 2003.

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