Dutroux victims rescued 10 years ago

15th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 August 2006, BRUSSELS — Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of when Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez were rescued alive from the secret dungeon of child killer and rapist Marc Dutroux.

15 August 2006

BRUSSELS — Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of when Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez were rescued alive from the secret dungeon of child killer and rapist Marc Dutroux.

On 15 August 1996, Dutroux finally spoke the words police had been waiting two days for: "Je vais vous donner une fille" (I will give you a girl).

Dutroux was then taken to his home in Marcinelle, where he showed police the hidden area in his cellar that no one had found during earlier house raids.

When the heavy door opened from out of the wall, the miracle was complete: inside the small room Laetitia, but also Sabine — who had been missing for months — were found alive.

Belgium erupted with joy and public prosecutor Michel Bourlet and investigative judge Jean-Marc Connerotte became heroes.

But two years later, the full horror of the Dutroux case became known as the bodies of four other girls were found.

Dutroux had been arrested on 13 August 1996 after police tracked down the unemployed electrician with the licence plate of his van after it was seen near where Laetitia was abducted in southern Belgium.

The 10-year anniversary of his arrest on Sunday was not marked by any demonstration or other events, despite the fact the public has expressed anger in years past at judicial errors committed in the investigation.

And the horror of Dutroux's crimes still cast a shadow across Belgium, evidenced by the parallels drawn to the recent murder of two step-sisters in Liège.

In the years after their rescue, surviving Dutroux victims Sabine and Laetitia became national symbols as 300,000 Belgians took to the streets in the famous White March in October 1996.

Almost eight years later, they fulfilled their role again when they gave strong testimony at Dutroux's trial and braved an emotional confrontation with the cellar in which they were imprisoned.

Sabine and Laetitia are now young women and shun the media, hoping instead to lead a normal life.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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