Volkert van der Graaf, jailed for 18 years in 2003 for the murder of populist politician Pim Fortuyn, was released from prison on Friday afternoon, the public prosecution department said.

Van der Graaf has served two-thirds of his sentence without incident and was therefore entitled to early release.

The justice ministry is keeping tight-lipped about where Van der Graaf was taken. Experts have already warned he could be the subject of a manhunt and point to recent demonstrations outside the home of convicted child abuser Benno L.

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