French paedophile confessesBelgium serial child murders

30th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

LIEGE, Belgium, June 30 (AFP) - Hot on the heels of a paedophile murder trial that revived ugly memories for Belgium, a French forestry worker has confessed to the murder of six girls over a 14-year period and has been accused of killing several other people, the prosecution said here Wednesday.

LIEGE, Belgium, June 30 (AFP) - Hot on the heels of a paedophile murder trial that revived ugly memories for Belgium, a French forestry worker has confessed to the murder of six girls over a 14-year period and has been accused of killing several other people, the prosecution said here Wednesday.

Liege prosecutor Anne Thily said Michel Fourniret, who has been in detention in Belgium since June 2003 for abduction of minors and sexual misconduct, confessed to "six murders of girls" in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001.

Among the victims was Elisabeth Brichet, a Belgian girl who was 12 when she was kidnapped near Namur, southern Belgium, in December 1989. The 62-year-old Frenchman confessed to kidnapping, trying to rape and finally strangling Brichet, Thily said.

The prosecutor said Fourniret's wife, who was arrested Wednesday, also accused him of killing an adult and two other girls missing in eastern France. But Thily said Fourniret has denied any role in the disappearance of those two girls.

"Michel Fourniret confessed to the kidnapping and admits he was obliged to kill her," said prosecutor Cedric Visart de Bocarme, in charge of the case in Dinant, where Fourniret is in custody.

The girl's mother was a founder and leader of the so-called White Movement launched by the parents of disappeared Belgian children after the arrest of rapist Marc Dutroux in 1996, amid reports of a large paedophile network operating in Belgium.

The latest case has caused new anguish following the shocking details that emerged from Dutroux's trial for abduction and murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment June 22.

Belgian police arrested Fourniret one year ago after he allegedly kidnapped a 13-year-old Congolese girl who managed to escape and led police to him.

Earlier on Wednesday, RTBF reported that Fourniret's wife had accused him of murdering at least nine young girls in France and Britain.

The wife, Monique Olivier, was herself arrested Wednesday on a charge of failing to come to the assistance of persons in danger. She was remanded in custody in the southern Belgian town of Namur, prosecution officials said.

According to RTL-TVI television, Fourniret's wife had been prompted to come forward with her revelations after the heavy 30-year sentence imposed on Dutroux's ex-wife Michelle Martin during the Dutroux trial.

Belgian authorities declined to comment on any confessions Fourniret may have made about murders committed in neighbouring France.

"The French authorities must inform the parents," said Thily, referring journalists to state attorney's departments in northern France.

Thily also declined comment on any possible link between Fourniret's admissions and Dutroux.

Elisabeth Brichet's father, Francis Brichet, said investigators had told him that his daughter had been kidnapped, raped, killed and immediately buried.

He said it was a relief to know after so many years what had happened to her.

The White Movement, in which her mother Marie-Noelle Bouzet played a leading role, organized protests against alleged police and judicial incompetence, and included a huge march through Brussels in which hundreds of thousands of people participated.

Belgian newspapers asked why police, the judiciary, social workers and others had failed to prevent Dutroux abducting six girls, four of whom died, and the daily newspaper Le Soir suggested that "other Dutroux" were perhaps at large.

Since Fourniret's arrest, police in Belgium and France have been attempting to piece together his movements over the past few years with the help of mobile phone records, credit-card receipts and motorway toll tickets, in an attempt to link him with several missing girls.

Fourniret has reportedly denied having murdered Celine Saison, 18, and Manyana Thumpong, 13, who went missing in France in 2000 and 2001 and whose bodies were found in Belgium's Ardennes forest close to Fourniret's home.

Fourniret received a seven-year sentence in 1987 from a French court in the Essonne department near Paris for rape and indecent assault on minors.

Since his arrest in Belgium last year he has also been charged with the attempted kidnapping of a 14 year-old girl in 2000.

©  AFP

 

Subject: French news

 

 

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