The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

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Offline ~Souza~

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The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 08, 2009, 12:59:23 PM

First I need to say that none of the information below is based on my political views, and a discussion about these political views is absolutely not the discussion I want to arouse. This is about the inconsistencies surrounding the assassination of this Dutch politician.

This is a case I followed myself for quite a while, since this was big news in Holland at the time and still a subject in many discussions. Pim Fortuyn was the first assassinated politician in The Netherlands and therefore both his supporters and opponents were shocked by this assassination.

He made some controversial statements during his political career, but I have to tell you that 'Freedom of Speech' is something that 90% of the people in Holland will defend to death. It's a very important right we have and will always defend, and whatever your political view is, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and free to air it. I agree some might go a bridge too far, but STILL they are allowed to have that opinion, you don't have to agree with it, you don't have to respect the opinion, but ALWAYS respect the fact that also that person can have and air that opinion.

Pim Fortuyn also had an opinion. He seemed far-right to me at that time, because of how he was portrayed in the mainstream media. As I grew older (and wiser?) I read some more about him, his life, his views, the way he was portrayed and the circumstances surrounding his death. I learned that this case was not as black and white as they wanted us to believe.

Let me tell the story of the political life and assassination of this politician, who has been stating multiple times that he was being demonized and threatened, before he got shot on May 6, 2002.

Pim Fortuyn

Born                 :
Wilhelmus Simon Petrus Fortuijn on February 19, 1948 in Driehuis, The Netherlands
Death         :
May 6, 2002 (aged 54) in Hilversum, The Netherlands
Cause of death      :
Assassinated during Dutch Election of 2002
Occupation      :
Politician, Author, Columnist, Public Servant, Sociologist, Professor
Title                 :
Doctor of Philosophy
Political parties      :
PvdA (1974-1989), VVD (around mid 90's), LN (2001-2002), LPF (2002)
Religious beliefs   :
Roman Catholic

Pim Fortuyn was a Dutch politician, author, columnist, public servant, sociologist and professor who formed his own party, Pim Fortuyn List (Lijst Pim Fortuyn or LPF).

Fortuyn was the centre of several controversies for his views about immigrants and Islam. He called Islam "a backward culture" and said that if it were legally possible he would close the borders for Muslim immigrants. He was labeled a far-right populist by his opponents and in the media, but he fiercely rejected this label and explicitly distanced himself from far-right politicians such as the Belgian Filip Dewinter, the Austrian Jörg Haider, or Frenchman Jean-Marie Le Pen whenever compared to them. While Fortuyn compared his own politics to centre-right politicians such as Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, he also admired former Dutch Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, a socialist. Fortuyn however repeatedly described himself and LPF's ideology as pragmatism and not populism. Fortuyn was openly gay.

Fortuyn was assassinated during the 2002 Dutch national election campaign by Volkert van der Graaf, who claimed in court he had murdered Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" in seeking political power.

Political career

In 1992 Fortuyn wrote "Aan het volk van Nederland" (To the people of the Netherlands) and declared himself as the successor of the charismatic but controversial Dutch politician Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol.

A one-time communist and former member of the social-democratic PvdA, on 26 November 2001 he was elected by a large majority as "lijsttrekker" (sort of first man on the list) of the newly formed "Leefbaar Nederland" (Livable Netherlands) party to participate in the Dutch general election of 2002.

On 9 February 2002, he was interviewed by the Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper. The statements he made were considered so controversial that he was dismissed as lijsttrekker the next day. In the interview Fortuyn said, among other things, that he favored putting an end to Muslim immigration, if that were possible. Having been rejected by Leefbaar Nederland, Fortuyn founded his own party LPF (Pim Fortuyn List) on February 11, 2002. Many Leefbaar Nederland supporters transferred their support to the new party.

As lijsttrekker for the "Leefbaar Rotterdam" party, a local issues party, he achieved a major victory in the Rotterdam district council elections in early March 2002. The new party won about 36% of the seats, making it the largest party in the council. For the first time since the Second World War, the Dutch Labour Party found itself out of power in Rotterdam.

For the next three months Fortuyn gave hundreds of Interviews and statements about his political ideology and ideas. In March he released his book "The Rubble of Eight Purple Years" (Puinhopen Van Acht Jaar Paars) with he used as his political agenda for the upcoming general election.

Political views

Views on Islam and immigration

In August 2001, Fortuyn was quoted in the Rotterdams Dagblad newspaper, saying, among other things, "I am also in favor of a cold war with Islam. I see Islam as an extraordinary threat, as a hostile religion." In the TV program Business class Fortuyn said that Muslims in Netherlands did not accept Dutch society. Fortuyn appeared several times in the TV program Business class, moderated by his friend Harry Mens. In this program it has been suggested that his words were interpreted rather harshly, if not wrongly. For instance, he said that Muslims in the Netherlands needed to accept living together with the Dutch, and that if this was unacceptable for them, then they were free to leave. His concluding words in the TV program were "I want to live together with the Muslim people, but it takes two to tango."

On 9 February 2002, he made further controversial statements in a Dutch newspaper, this time the Volkskrant. He said that the Netherlands, with a population of 16 million, had enough inhabitants, and therefore, the practice of allowing as many as 40,000 asylum-seekers into the country each year had to be stopped (however, the actual number was not that high and already falling at that time). He claimed that if he became part of the next government, he would pursue a restrictive immigration policy while also granting citizenship to a large group of illegal immigrants.

Remarkably, he said that he did not intend to "unload our Moroccan hooligans" onto the Moroccan King Hassan. Hasan had died three years earlier. Furthermore, he considered Article 7 of the constitution, which asserts freedom of speech, of more importance than Article 1, which forbids discrimination on the basis of religion, life principles, political inclination, race, or sexual preference. However, he distanced himself from Hans Janmaat of the Centrum Democraten, who in the 1980s wanted to remove all foreigners from the country and was repeatedly convicted for discrimination and hate speech.

Fortuyn proposed that all people who already resided in the Netherlands would be able to stay, but he emphasized the need of the immigrants to adopt the Dutch society's consensus on human rights as their own. He said "If it were legally possible, I'd say no more Muslims will get in here", claiming that the influx of Muslims would threaten freedoms in the liberal Dutch society. He thought Muslim culture had never undergone a process of modernization and therefore still lacked acceptance of democracy and women's, gays', lesbians' and minorities' rights, and feared it would dismiss the Dutch legal system in favor of the shari'a law.

One of Fortuyn's fears was of pervasive intolerance in the Muslim community. In a televised debate in 2002, "Fortuyn baited the Muslim cleric by flaunting his homosexuality. Finally the imam exploded, denouncing Fortuyn in strongly anti-homosexual terms. Fortuyn calmly turned to the camera and, addressing viewers directly, told them that this is the kind of Trojan horse of intolerance the Dutch are inviting into their society in the name of multiculturalism."

When asked by the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant whether he hated Islam, he replied:
“I don't hate Islam. I consider it a backward culture. I have travelled much in the world. And wherever Islam rules, it's just terrible. All the hypocrisy. It's a bit like those old reformed protestants. The Reformed lie all the time. And why is that? Because they have standards and values that are so high that you can't humanly maintain them. You also see that in that Muslim culture. Then look at the Netherlands. In what country could an electoral leader of such a large movement as mine be openly homosexual? How wonderful that that's possible. That's something that one can be proud of. And I'd like to keep it that way, thank you very much.”

Other views

Pim Fortuyn claimed to be neither right wing nor left wing, asked for more openness in politics, and expressed his distaste for what he called "subsidy socialism". He furthermore criticized the media as a "Siamese twin" of the government.

He wanted smaller-scale organization of public services such as health, education, and the police, making extensive use of the possibilities of information technology (for example, a surgeon conducting an operation remotely at a local hospital). Critics said his plans would require building hundreds or thousands of new institutions at enormous expense, but Fortuyn said no extra funds would be allocated until inefficiencies had been removed.

He also held liberal views, favoring the drug policy of the Netherlands, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and related positions.

He wanted to merge the army and air force to save money, retaining only a separate navy, but also favored re-instating compulsory military service, giving youngsters the choice between military service and a new form of public service (in which they would help in hospitals or retirement homes, for example). It is often said that he wanted to disband the army and the air force; however, Fortuyn denied this on 24 March 2002 in a business TV program.

Assassination and aftermath

On May 6, 2002, at age 54, Fortuyn was fatally shot by Volkert van der Graaf in the head and chest as he was leaving the building of a radio station where he had just given an interview. Nine days before the election, a usually peaceful and calm country was rocked by one of its few political assassinations since the slaying of Willem van Oranje (William the Silent) in 1584 during the Dutch uprising against the rule of Spanish King Philip II.
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Van der Graaf was pursued by Fortuyn's chauffeur and captured while still in possession of the gun he used to kill Fortuyn. There was some relief that van der Graaf was a deranged vegetarian and animal-rights activist (Fortuyn's policy he most objected to seems to have been a proposal to lift a ban on mink farming), rather than a jihadist.

Van der Graaf confessed to the crime. Some months later, he received an 18-year prison term. This light sentence is regarded as an injustice by many of Fortuyn's supporters, particularly because the court seems to have accepted in part the defense's argument that Fortuyn was a danger to society.

An immense outpouring of grief followed the assassination. Even people who had not supported him politically lamented the loss of a talented man struck down by an assassin's bullet in a country that prides itself on its calm and rational politics. His death was seen by many as proof that something had gone seriously wrong with the country.

The elaborate funeral featured the slave chorus from Verdi's Aida blaring from loudspeakers and Fortuyn's beloved dogs, Kenneth and Carla, as the chief mourners.

Fortuyn's remains were then transferred to Italy, where he owned property. After his coffin was loaded into a plane, two fire engines on the runway at Rotterdam airport spouted jets of water and formed a rainbow in the sunlight.

Soon, a number of shrines and memorials appeared at Fortuyn's home, at the scene of the crime, in front of Parliament in The Hague, and at the Gay Monument in Amsterdam.

Peter Jan Margry has investigated the messages left at these sites, characterizing them as expressions of grief, condolence, and dismay; declarations of affection and love; attributions of metaphysical qualities to the person of Fortuyn; and angry threats of retaliation, specifically for the perceived "hate campaign" against Fortuyn in the media.

The most immediate result of Fortuyn's death was that all parties ceased campaigning, though the election was not postponed. Since the date of the election was so near, there was no time to reprint the ballots. Technically, people could still vote for Fortuyn, which is what 17% of the voters did. The LPF received 26 seats in the 150-seat chamber, making it the second largest party in Parliament.

Sexual misconduct accusations

In 2005, Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries obtained a secret report of the intelligence department of the Rotterdam police. It became clear from this report that Fortuyn, along with several other members from his party, had been the subject of investigation by the intelligence services. An anonymous informant claimed that Fortuyn had engaged in sex with Moroccan youths aged between 16 and 21; this would have been legal under Dutch law. However, the report contained factual inaccuracies, and the trustworthiness of the original source could not be verified.

The assassin

Volkert van der Graaf (born July 9, 1969) is notable for confessing to the murder. Born in Middelburg, Van der Graaf was a self-described animal rights activist.

On May 6, 2002, Van der Graaf shot Fortuyn, and was arrested shortly thereafter. Van der Graaf stated that he assassinated the populist Dutch politician in order to "protect weaker groups in society," but later expressed doubt over whether his actions were justified. His hearings started August 9. His trial started on March 27, 2003 and continued till April 15, 2003 when he was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. During the trials, suggestions of insanity were rejected. The trial generated large interest from the Dutch public, especially Fortuyn supporters. Van der Graaf appealed for the reduction of the sentence to 16 years, but on July 18, 2003, the appeals court upheld the previous punishment.
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The questions surrounding the assassination

It was made known that Volkert van der Graaf has admitted that he was responsible for the murder of Pim Fortuyn. Teletekst News says: "Matt Herben isn't convinced that Van der Graaf acted alone. He has requested that the Justice department investigate the matter fully. Marijnissen, leader of the SP party is also intrigued as to whether van der Graaf acted alone." It's also possible that van der Graaf acted alone but that there were other people who knew and allowed it to happen. Even though no hard and fast conclusions can be drawn from this murder-case, DaanSpeak feels it's important to examine all the facts and possibilities surrounding this case.

  • What raises lots of questions (and therefore doubts) is that the police knew very quickly who to arrest and happened to have a six-man strong team already wearing body armour ready to arrest the suspect within minutes of the murder. In fact they had arrested van der Graaf before the ambulances arrived to take the injured Fortuyn to hospital. This speed doesn't compliment the police but raises even more questions.
  • The police from the Gooi en Vechtstreek region were assisted by a half-platoon of police from the Zaanstreek-Waterland police precinct who were coincidentally passing the scene at the time of the murder. The group was driving past the Mediapark when they heard about the shooting over their police radio. According to their spokesman these passer-by policemen offered their immediate assistance."

The actual arrest of van der Graaf was carried out by police from the local Gooi en Vechtstreek precinct.

  • The ambulance that was sent to assist Fortuyn arrived at the Mediapark only to find the gates locked due to a computer malfunction. The minutes extra that it took for the ambulance to enter via another entrance ensured that they would be too late to be of any assistance in saving Fortuyns life. Officials say it took between 12 and 15 minutes for the ambulance to reach the stricken Pim Fortuyn, however eyewitness, Reporter Peter De Vries says: "The story the police are giving about the ambulance isn't accurate. It took 20-30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. I've asked other people that were there and they all say the same thing."
  • In the Dutch-TV program "Jensen!" announced Pim Fortuyn that if he should be assassinated, the establishment would be as responsable for his death, as the killer. Two months later he was gone.
  • On October 18, newspaper The Telegraaf leads with a thick headline shouting that Fortuyn was being "bugged by the AIVD (Dutch MI5)." writes Theo van Gogh. "Kay van de Linde, campaign organiser of Leefbaar Nederland also thought; 'Pim you're being paranoid.' But the indications became stronger and stronger. There were things made public that only we could have known about." Van de Linde isn't the only one who believes that Pim Fortuyn was being bugged, various former acquaintances of Fortuyn have said the same thing to the Van den Haak commission who are investigating the security of Fortuyn. Van de Linde has since withdrawn his allegations. The Netherlands is "eavesdroppingland" according to experts, in a single month there is more eavedropping in the Netherlands than there is in the US in a whole year. It's ridiculous to suggest that Fortuyn wouldn't have been considered a threat by the establishment.
  • Negligent government and law enforcement bodies failed to protect Pim Fortuyn, despite clear warnings, an independent inquiry concluded. But no amount of police protection would necessarily have prevented Fortuyn, who hated security, being shot by an animal rights activist, its report adds. The report, drafted by an Amsterdam judge, says the inquiry did not seek to apportion blame for Fortuyn's death. Nevertheless, it says that the police, civil servants, government ministers and the secret service were all guilty of shortcomings. Fortuyn fell victim, it suggests, to the Netherlands' famously open society, in which only the prime minister receive special protection. "The system for the personal security of citizens in the Netherlands is in no way geared to protecting persons against a murderous attack by a person who has formed a definite intent to commit the act and has acquired the means to carry it out," it says. "The system is not geared up for this, for the simple reason that no murders of this kind have occurred in the Netherlands for a very long time." The report says Fortuyn's hatred of security and his failure to keep the authorities informed about the threats he received were a mistake. It may be used by Fortuyn's brother Martin to sue the authorities for negligence. Its authors, aided by the Dutch secret service, had unprecedented access to information, including Fortuyn's computer and email account. There were 25 separate incidents in the months before his death, they said, which should have set the alarm bells ringing. The authorities were in a position to know about at least 14 of them. Not all of them were credible threats to his life, but taken together they were more than enough to warrant some kind of police protection. "Both the incidents themselves and the context in which they occurred were in themselves sufficient reason to provide Fortuyn, in the course of the period from February to April 2002, with a form of personal security and protection." "The obvious question is why he was not given it." Thirteen of the 25 incidents were direct threats to his safety by email, fax and the post. Eight compromised his physical safety, and ranged from his being pelted with a beer can and "pies" containing faeces and vomit to being confronted by angry Moroccan youths in a restaurant in the Hague. An intercepted telephone conversation between two animal rights activists saying that he should be dead was also counted, as were broader and earlier threats of blackmail and violence relating to his personal life (he was openly gay). Volkert van der Graaf, the man who was arrested within minutes of the shooting, was alleged to have broken his long silence last month to say that he had killed Fortuyn because he had been worried about his growing political influence. The report recommends a radical improvement of that coordination between government and law enforcement bodies, and with elections coming next month the authorities have carried out threat analyses for all the party leaders assigned protection.
  • In order to leave no stone unturned it's interesting to bring the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) into the picture for a moment. In the Volkskrant newspaper of February 1 this year, Fortuyn said on the day of his murder that he wouldn't necessarily support the Dutch JSF development. Was Fortuyn killed by the CIA? The American secret services have already made it clear that they work in the interests of the Military-Industrial complex and hasn't shied away from taking action on foreign soil. Maybe to claim that the CIA was behind the murder of Fortuyn is going too far. although I thought it was worth mentioning and fact is that only 6 weeks after his death, the LPF (now lead by Matt Herben) unanimous voted in favor the Dutch involvement in the JSF...
What about the Al-Qaida conspiracy theory? Why would the government want to get rid of him?

It was most likely that, if Fortuyn would not have been assassinated on May 6, he would have won the elections and be prime minister.  In my honest opinion he was more of a threat to the Dutch government than to foreign countries and Al-Qaida, because his main goal was to solve problems in own country.  Other parties did not want to form a coalition with the LPF and most parties did not agree with his political agenda. The Al-Qaida conspiracy theory was mentioned in the mainstream media, which makes me think that the rumor was spread intentionally.

With this ‘single’ action Fortuyn was out of the way and the environmental movement was in bad light. That's good, if you want to further expand Schiphol  each year, and want to overbuild the entire green heart of the Netherlands with office buildings.

What also points toward foul play of the government are the sexual misconduct accusations and in particular, the way this info was obtained and published in the mainstream media in November 2005. An official of the AIVD, the national security service, sells his car to a private individual. That person finds some floppy disks, with details about investigations on Pim Fortuyn personally. The investigation was focused on the sex life of Fortuyn, who would have had sex with underage boys. Sound familiar? This is the best way to help the downfall of someone with influence.

This raises some questions:
First: Would Fortuyn put his political ideas at stake just for his own sexual pleasures?
Second: An employee of the AIVD just leaves these diskettes with highly sensitive material in his car when selling it? Don’t you think you would double check your car for personal belongings before selling it? I can’t believe you would have those floppies mistakenly under your seat…
Third: Volkert van der Graaf was sentenced up to only 18 years''. This means that with good behavior he’ll be out in 10 years.  A murder of a political head,  a direct attack on democracy and he did not get the highest punishment in the Netherlands? That’s weird, even for The Netherlands with our low sentences.

06/05 - A movie by Theo van Gogh

A Dutch Film maker and admirer of Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, was filming a movie about his assassination and the conspiracy theorie behind it in 2004: ... redirected
He didn’t believe in a conspiracy? I don’t believe that, because before he could finish it, he was murdered on November 2, 2004 in a busy Amsterdam street in the middle of the day…http://

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline xirisjex

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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 08, 2009, 01:42:25 PM
You know I could buy into a conspiracy against Fortuyn, but fact of the matter is that we have Geert wilders walkin around now who is even more politically radical.If Fortuyn was murdered because he was a thread to the government, why is geert wilders still walking around then? He is taking the leads in polls as well now...
I think his views at the time were a real shock to the dutch citisins. ( I don't mean to imply that he was rightfully murdered, I was as shocked as anybody else at the time) So it is not that far-fetched to me that an extremist (although not by relegion) got this sick thought in his head that he needed to do this.

Also he was not fully protected because it was Holland, few years before this happened politicians went to their work on their bikes. The idea that someone wouls shoot someone for their believes was just completely foreign to most people here.

I'm not saying that a conspiracy in that case isn't possible,for me I just would have to see some more proof that would indicate such a thing I guess..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 08, 2009, 03:15:25 PM
Jezz dude-there's noly so many hours in the day
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline dunno

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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 09, 2009, 08:40:11 AM
Quote from: "xirisjex"
we have Geert wilders walkin around now who is even more politically radical..
He is protected by security 24/7. And he changes his whereabouts every week. He's not walking around free at all.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline xirisjex

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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 09, 2009, 08:45:39 AM
Quote from: "dunno"
Quote from: "xirisjex"
we have Geert wilders walkin around now who is even more politically radical..
He is protected by security 24/7. And he changes his whereabouts every week. He's not walking around free at all.

I know, I never said he walked around free.
And the reason for that is because he gets threats as well. That's what I meant before, things like that are considered ''more normal'' here nowadays than back then. People appariantly got the message that freedom of speech needs to be protected nowadays.At least sadly that's what it seems like..
 (Btw just to be clear I don't support this man at all, but I think free speech is important as well)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Loes

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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 09, 2009, 09:20:22 AM
I was hartbroken when Pim Fortuyn was killed (and 2 years later Theo van Gogh).

Later I take the time to read your long post about it.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline MJJ1982

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Re: The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

  • on: December 18, 2009, 10:41:42 AM
Quote from: "Loes"
I was hartbroken when Pim Fortuyn was killed (and 2 years later Theo van Gogh).

Later I take the time to read your long post about it.

Exactly, it was shocking... the Freedom of Speech died with Pim Fortuyn, and if that wasn't enough, they killed Theo too...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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