Dutroux trial 'could be over by May'

4th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 February 2004, BRUSSELS – The trial of suspected child killer Marc Dutroux, the country's most notorious criminal, could be over by May, Belgium's La Libre Belgique newspaper reported on Wednesday.

4 February 2004

BRUSSELS – The trial of suspected child killer Marc Dutroux, the country's most notorious criminal, could be over by May, Belgium's La Libre Belgique newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Dutroux is set to stand trial on 1 March in the city of Arlon after being arrested nearly eight years ago and charged with the rape and murder of several young girls.

The convicted child rapist's capture in 1996 revealed monumental levels of police incompetence and sparked a countrywide wave of shock and anger, the repercussions of which are still being felt today.

 Legal experts were originally predicting a drawn-out trial, essentially because, between them, the defence and prosecution teams originally wanted to call around 700 separate witnesses.

But the Belgian authorities have ordered that not more than 450 witnesses can now be called to give evidence.

La Libre Belgique estimates that it will take around two months for the trial judges to hear all of these witnesses along with arguments from the defence and prosecution lawyers.

Dutroux's lawyers have already criticised the decision to limit the number of witnesses. They are particularly angry that two former Belgian Justice Ministers as well as members of a key parliamentary committee that investigated the Dutroux case will not now be called.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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