Belgian news in brief, 16 November 2005

16th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

Dutroux accomplice to be released

Dutroux accomplice to be released

Michel Nihoul, the fourth person convicted in the Dutroux process, might be released in December and placed under electronic supervision. He will then have served exactly 16 months in jail. The chance is small that prosecution officials will resist the early release because Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has approved Nihoul's penitentiary leave, commercial broadcaster VTM reported on Wednesday. Nihoul was jailed for drugs crimes and building a prostitution network of East European women.

Brussels cracks down on sex trade

Brussels is set to crack down on the problem of prostitution in the area around the Royal Flemish Theatre. The number of police patrols will be increased and a new police station will be opened in one of the worse-hit streets. Brussels will also impose a charge of EUR 2,500 per room on hotels used by prostitutes. However, the residents association is not convinced the measures will force prostitutes away. It urged the city council to draw up a global plan to combat the sex trade.

Bikers arrested over woman's rape

Federal police raided seven premises in Zarren (Kortemark), Houthulst, Kortrijk and Waregem on Wednesday, arresting eight members of the Outlaws motorcycle club. The raids are linked to the kidnap, abuse and rape of a 37-year-old woman, of Kortemark. The crimes were committed at various places in June this year after a local motorcycle race. The woman never lodged a compliant based on fear of reprisals, but witness statements led to the police raids. Weapons such as a pistol, knives and brass knuckles were seized. Police also seized a video tape suspected to contain footage of the abuse.

Christmas trees more expensive

Christmas trees will be more expensive this year. The price of a normal tree will remain the same (about EUR 25), but the price will increase for the more popular Nordmann to about EUR 50. The tree is popular because it hardly loses any pine needles. Besides the higher demand, another reason for the higher price is that it takes six to seven years before the tree can be felled.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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