Expatica news

Belgian police ‘knew of Fourniret in 2001’

2 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Michel Fourniret, the suspected serial killer who has been dubbed ‘the French Dutroux,’ was known to Belgian police as far back as 2001, it has emerged.

Belgian newspaper Vers l’Avenir reported on Friday that it had spoken to a young woman who said Fourniret approached her in April 2001 in the town of Han-sur-Lesse.

The woman described how a man had pressed her to let him accompany her home.

She reported the matter to police and gave Fourniret’s white van registration number and a decent description of him.

Vers l’Avenir said the woman, who was 20 at the time, received a letter three weeks later from the victims support service, stating her complaint had been processed by the legal authorities.

She was also given Fourniret’s name by the authorities.

The report contradicts statements by the public prosecutor in the Belgian city of Dinant, Arnoud d’Aspremont Lynden.

He insisted on Friday that Fourniret’s name had not been on Belgian police files before his arrest a year ago for attempting to abduct a 14 year old girl.

“We have found nothing about him,” the prosecutor said.

The news that Fourniret – a convicted paedophile who has so far confessed to killing eight girls and young women – appears to have been known to police for over three years is likely to re-ignite criticism of Belgian’s criminal justice system.

The country’s police and magistrates are still licking their wounds after they were accused of badly handling the Dutroux investigation.

Meanwhile Fourniret’s ex wife, Monique Olivier, on Friday told police where she believed the body of the couple’s former au pair was buried.

Fourniret still denies murdering the girl, who he and Olivier employed to look after their son.

Investigators said Olivier, 55, had told them Fourniret buried the girl’s body in southern Belgium.

“She has indicated that the body was buried not far from Sart Custinne, in the judicial area covered by Dinant,” d’Aspremont Lynden told reporters.

However, the area Olivier has indicated is vast and police say they will carry out further investigations before they start digging.

The au pair, who disappeared in 1993, has not yet been identified by the authorities, but she is believed to have been about 16-years-old, blonde and a French speaker.

Fourniret was sentenced to seven years in prison by a French court in 1987 for rape and indecent assault on minors, but he was freed after a few months because of the time he had spent in custody.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news