Dutroux co-accused Nihoul granted early parole

19th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2006, BRUSSELS — The commission for probationary release has granted early parole to Michel Nihoul, the businessman who stood trial along with child killer Marc Dutroux.

19 April 2006

BRUSSELS — The commission for probationary release has granted early parole to Michel Nihoul, the businessman who stood trial along with child killer Marc Dutroux.

"He will be released shortly," Nihoul's lawyer Frédéric Clément de Cléty said, but refused to reveal the exact date on request of his client.

Flemish broadcaster VRT has nevertheless reported that Nihoul will be released later this week.

Nihoul was sentenced to five years jail in the Marc Dutroux child abuse and murder case in June 2004. He has served one-third of that sentence, qualifying him for early release.

Despite being cleared of all charges related to the torture and murder of children, Nihoul was convicted on drugs charges, human smuggling and membership of a criminal gang.

It was long speculated that he was instrumental in an alleged network of paedophiles and had ordered Dutroux to kidnap children, but those allegations were never proven.

The convicted businessman will now be released on a probationary basis. He will need to regularly report to justice authorities and avoid criminal contacts.

Nihoul's release had been widely expected following positive advice issued by the Saint-Gilles jail in Brussels, the public prosecution office and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx.

The parents of Dutroux's victims have said Nihoul should serve out his entire sentence.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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