Wife claims to have been bystander to murders

5th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, July 5 (AFP) - The wife of French self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret was a "passive" bystander who deserves credit for revealing her husband's grisly crimes, her lawyer said Monday.

BRUSSELS, July 5 (AFP) - The wife of French self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret was a "passive" bystander who deserves credit for revealing her husband's grisly crimes, her lawyer said Monday.

Monique Olivier, 55, is under arrest in Belgium charged with kidnapping and failing to help a person in danger.

But her lawyer, Pierre Barthelemy, said only through Olivier's confessions had investigators been able to pin down her 62-year-old husband's involvement in the murders of at least eight females and one man.

"She had a passive attitude. When she set out with her husband, she never imagined that things would end like this. But afterwards, she knew all too well of course, and she bitterly regrets her passivity," Barthelemy told AFP.

Fourniret has admitted to killing the nine people, mostly young women and girls, in France and Belgium between 1987 and 2001. Olivier accuses him of at least 10 murders.

On Saturday the forestry warden led French police to the bodies of a 12-year-old Belgian girl and a 22-year-old Frenchwoman who he said he had killed and buried on the grounds of his former home in 1989.

Olivier was afraid to speak out earlier, the lawyer said.

"They were late in coming, her revelations, but they were opportune. If she had not spoken out, one can imagine the consequences," he said.

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

He was re-arrested in Belgium in June 2003 for abduction of minors and sexual misconduct. But he only confessed to the murders last week, after his estranged wife made her accusations against him.

According to prosecutors, who had approached Olivier for more information on the alleged abductions of minors, she made the startling revelations of a campaign of murder after the end of the Marc Dutroux trial.

The notorious Belgian paedophile was jailed for life last month for kidnapping and raping six girls, four of whom died, in the mid-1990s.

His ex-wife Michelle Martin received a 30-year sentence - a fate that Olivier wanted to avoid, prosecutors say.

Belgian police said Sunday they were examining whether they were any links between Fourniret and the disappearance of at least 15 other girls over the past 20 years whose bodies have never turned up. 

 

© AFP

Subject: French news

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