Double breakout at serial killer Dutroux's prison

17th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 October 2005, BRUSSELS – Police were on Monday still hunting for two prisoners who have escaped from the same jail where serial killer Marc Dutroux is serving his life sentence.

17 October 2005

BRUSSELS – Police were on Monday still hunting for two prisoners who have escaped from the same jail where serial killer Marc Dutroux is serving his life sentence.

Serge Van Elder, who was jailed for around 88 crimes, broke out of Ittre prison in Brabant Wallon on Saturday at around 8pm – the night before his thirty-third birthday.

He escaped with 30-year-old Hicham Oukoaiz, who was jailed for around 20 crimes.

On Monday, Le Soir reported that they broke out partly thanks to prison privileges that they are receiving having served a third of their sentence.

The pair, who work in the kitchen and the prisoners' quarters of the jail, climbed out of a window which contained no bars and which was just two metres from the floor.

A police hunt was immediately launched to recapture the men, with searches carried out at the homes of the prisoners' family and friends at Manage and Mont-Sur-Marchienne.

However, so far, the pair are still on the run and were said to be armed with kitchen knives.

This is reported to be the first time that prisoners have escaped from Ittre. Nevertheless, the double breakout is an embarrassment for the jail's authorities and the Belgian justice system.

Security lapses at Ittre prison will be viewed by the Belgian public as particularly serious since Ittre is the jail of Dutroux, Belgium's most notorious living criminal, who managed to escape from prison custody briefly in 1998.

The breakout also comes after a string of embarrassing escapes last year at Nivelles prison. Last October, the authorities decided to move self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret and other dangerous criminals from Nivelles as a result of the security problems.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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