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Killer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to be freed after serving 12 years of 18-year sentence

The animal rights activist who assassinated Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 is due to be released Friday, after serving 12 years of an 18-year sentence.

Release after serving two-thirds of a sentence is the norm in the Netherlands.

Volkert van der Graaf killed Fortuyn days before national elections in which Fortuyn was set to win big on an anti-immigration platform that reversed the then-progressive Dutch political landscape.

Most of Fortuyn's ideas have since become reality.

Van der Graaf's sentence has been widely criticized as too light. Judges had to choose between a maximum sentence of 20 years for a first-time offender motivated by misguided principles, or life in prison without parole.

Justice Ministry spokesman Jochgem van Opstal said Van der Graaf's release has conditions attached.