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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Fortuyn buried after Dutch bid farewell
Friends and family surround the hearse as it leaves the Laurentius and Elisabeth Cathedral in Rotterdam
Thousands came to pay their respects to Pim Fortuyn
The body of murdered Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn has been interred in his family vault after crowds lined the streets to witness his funeral in Rotterdam.

After a service at the Laurentius and Elisabeth Cathedral in Rotterdam, Fortuyn's coffin was taken to a small cemetery in the north-west of the country for a private burial.

Pim Fortuyn
Fortuyn: Thousands turned out to mark his funeral
Earlier the city was brought to a standstill as thousands of mourners gathered to pay tribute to the controversial anti-immigration politician, who was shot dead on Monday.

Many threw flowers and applauded as the funeral cortege toured the city's major landmarks before arriving at the Roman Catholic cathedral.

As the coffin was driven on the main Rotterdam-Amsterdam motorway there were traffic jams as people stopped to watch the hearse.

Fortuyn is to be re-buried later in a village in the Veneto region of Italy, where the politician owned a holiday villa.

Fortuyn had been due to lead his controversial anti-immigration party into next week's general election, and the BBC correspondent in the Netherlands says his murder is likely to lead to a large sympathy vote for his party.

Canvassing suspended

The Dutch media is comparing the show of sympathy with that for Britain's late Princess Diana.

Launch new window : Fortuyn mourned
Images from the funeral of Pim Fortuyn

Many of those paying their respects on Thursday disagreed with Fortuyn's political views, but said they had come in protest against the killing and to take a stand for democracy.

Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok
Interim PM Wim Kok led the mourners
Some people queued for five hours for the chance to file past his open coffin - many left the cathedral in tears.

The last time a body lay in state in the Netherlands was in 1962, when Queen Wilhelmina died.

The interim Prime Minister, Wim Kok, and a senior representative of Queen Beatrix were among 800 invited guests attending the funeral Mass.

Canvassing for the 15 May election is suspended on Friday as a mark of respect to the dead politician, who headed the newly formed List Pim Fortuyn (LPF).

Name on ballot

A 32-year-old animal rights campaigner named as Volkert van der Graaf is being held in custody on suspicion of murdering Fortuyn.

Fortuyn had courted controversy by campaigning against immigration, partly on the grounds that many immigrants did not accept the liberal values he himself represented.

Under Fortuyn, the LPF had been tipped to win about 17% of the vote, and could have entered the government.

With no time to alter the ballot-papers, Fortuyn's name will still appear on top of the LPF's list of 52 candidates.

The BBC's Chris Morris
"At the funeral mass there was great emotion"
Political editor of Algemeen Dagboard Jean Dohmen
"He was a bit like a film star"
See also:

07 May 02 | Europe
Dutch press in shock
09 May 02 | Europe
In pictures: Pim Fortuyn mourned
10 May 02 | Europe
Profile: Fortuyn's right-hand man
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