France issues warrant for 'serial killer' in Belgium

3rd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Aug 3 (AFP) - Belgian authorities said Tuesday they would continue to detain self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret for questioning despite a court ruling upholding an arrest warrant issued in France.

BRUSSELS, Aug 3 (AFP) - Belgian authorities said Tuesday they would continue to detain self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret for questioning despite a court ruling upholding an arrest warrant issued in France.

The European arrest warrant seeking the Frenchman's return to France was certified as valid by the court in the southern Belgian town of Dinant, prosecution service official Anne Delhez said.

"Once this ruling is made definitive, I will inform my French colleagues that we will hold on to the accused until the Belgians have finished their own investigations," she told AFP.

Fourniret, who has confessed to nine murders in France and Belgium, mostly of young females in the 1990s, has 24 hours to appeal against the court's decision. His lawyers said he was expected to do so.

The warrant was issued last month by prosecutors in the eastern French town of Charleville-Mezieres who are investigating the murders of two females, Celine Saison and Mananya Thumpong, whose bodies were found in Belgium.

Until the Belgians make a decision on whether to extradite Fourniret, 62, French investigators are free to continue coming to Belgium to assist in his questioning.

The French carpenter was arrested in Belgium in June 2003 for the attempted abduction of a young girl, who escaped and led police to him. He confessed to the murders in June after his estranged wife turned on him.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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