Dutroux's last stand

10th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 June 2004, BRUSSELS – Suspected Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux lashed out at "liars and manipulators" on Thursday as he took a final opportunity to address the jury in his trial in the Belgian city of Arlon.

10 June 2004

BRUSSELS – Suspected Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux lashed out at "liars and manipulators" on Thursday as he took a final opportunity to address the jury in his trial in the Belgian city of Arlon.

Making his last address to the court before he is sentenced, Dutroux said he was not trying to duck responsibility for crimes he had committed but insisted he did not act alone.

"I do not question any of my real faults and I am here to be condemned," he said.

"But those who claim that all the facts were presented are liars and manipulators," he added.

On Thursday Dutroux said he was "responsible" for the deaths of two girls, 17 year old An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks, 19, who went missing while on holiday at the Belgian coast in 1995.

"But I am not their rapist or their killer," he insisted.

The convicted rapist said he had left the girls with two of his accomplices, Michel Lelievre, who is also on trial in Arlon, and Bernard Weinstein, who Dutroux has admitted killing.

Dutroux also said he was responsible for the deaths of two other girls, Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo, both aged eight, who allegedly starved to death in a secret cell at one of Dutroux's houses while he was in jail. 

The girls allegedly died because Dutroux's then wife, Michelle Martin, ignored her husband's orders to feed them.

Martin is also on trial in Arlon.

"I am responsible for the deaths of Julie and Melissa, for abandoning them to the conscience of my wife," Dutroux said.

Dutroux is also accused of kidnapping two other girls, Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez, at the time aged 12 and 14 respectively.

They were both freed by police after Dutroux was arrested in 1996 and last month they gave evidence at the trial in Arlon.

Dutroux on Thursday also repeated his claim that Michel Nihoul, a Belgian businessman on trial beside him, was the brains behind the crimes he committed.

He said Nihoul, "could really count on several networks of people who were more or less corruptible."

He added that there were "unknown people behind Nihoul," referring to repeated rumours that he and his co-defendants were part of a major criminal network.

Dutroux's co-defendants also had a final chance to address the court on Thursday.

After they had all spoken, presiding Judge Stephane Goux declared the hearings in the Dutroux trial closed.

The jury is set to start considering its verdict next week.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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