'Horrific' French paedophileconfesses eight killings

2nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

DINANT, Belgium, July 1 (AFP) - A 62-year-old Frenchman who has already admitted this week to killing six young women in France and Belgium confessed during questioning late on Thursday to the murder of two other teenage girls, a French investigator said.

DINANT, Belgium, July 1 (AFP) - A 62-year-old Frenchman who has already admitted this week to killing six young women in France and Belgium confessed during questioning late on Thursday to the murder of two other teenage girls, a French investigator said.

Michel Fourniret was charged on Thursday with also murdering his au pair girl but has denied the accusation.

"He has just given the names of Celine and Mayana," a French investigator told AFP, referring to the latest confessions.

"It's horrific," he said of Fourniret's emotionless explanations of how he had killed his victims.

The shocking and fast-moving case comes barely a week after Belgian paedophile and child murderer Marc Dutroux was sentenced to life in prison, and threatens to reopen a painful and sordid chapter in Belgian history.

Fourniret, who has been in Belgian custody since June 2003 on suspicion of abduction of minors and sexual misconduct, has been accused by his wife, Monique Olivier, of killing nine people, including the au pair girl, between 1987 and 2001.

French prosecutors said Fourniret, who worked as a carpenter, had also confessed to shooting a driver at a rest stop along a highway in France's Burgundy region "because he needed money".

And French police said he had admitted to murdering the girlfriend of a man he said was a member of French extremist group Action Directe, in order to get his hands on Action Direct's "war chest". But it was not immediately clear whether she was one of the six young women Fourniret initially said he murdered or was an additional victim.

But the "French Dutroux", Fourniret was due to appear in court in Dinant, southern Belgium on July 6, has denied involvement in the 1993 death of his au pair girl, who was about 16 at the time, prosecutor Arnoud d'Aspremont Lynden told reporters.

The prosecutor said the identity of the young woman was not known. He described her as blonde, French-speaking, pretty and plump and said he hoped that her family might recognise the description and come forward.

Fourniret confessed on Wednesday to killing six young women between 1987 and 2001 and burying two victims at a chateau he once owned in the wooded Ardennes region on the Franco-Belgian border, French prosecutors said.

Late on Thursday he confessed to also murdering 18-year-old Celine Saison and 13-year-old Manyana Thumpong, who disappeared in France in 2000 and 2001 and whose corpses were found in Belgium.

The revelations came barely a week after Dutroux, classed by the local media as Belgium's most hated man, was given a life sentence after a harrowing 17-week trial. Dutroux was found guilty of the abduction and rape of six girls in the mid-1990s, four of whom died.

One of Fourniret's victims was 12-year-old Elisabeth Brichet, whose mother was a founder and leader of the so-called White Movement launched by the parents of missing Belgian children after Dutroux's arrest in 1996.

The Frenchman has confessed to kidnapping, trying to rape and ultimately strangling Brichet, Belgian prosecutors said.

Fourniret received a seven-year sentence in 1987 from a French court in Essonne, south of Paris, for rape and indecent assault on minors. He was freed after only a few months because of the length of time he had spent in custody.

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

© AFP

Subject: French news

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