Expatica news

Date fixed for Dutroux appeal

7 October 2004

BRUSSELS – Convicted  Belgian child killer Marc Dutroux will formally appeal in December against his life sentence for child abductions, rapes and murders, it has been confirmed.

Belgium’s highest court will examine his demands on 15 December, the Belga news agency said on Wednesday.

Dubbed the “most hated man in Belgium,” Dutroux was sentenced to life behind bars in June for the kidnapping, incarceration and rape of six schoolgirls.

The crimes occurred in the mid-1990s and four of the girls did not escape Dutroux’s clutches alive.

The court will also hear an appeal by Dutroux’s ex-wife, Michelle Martin, who was sentenced to 30 years in jail for her role in the crimes.

Her lawyers have argued that the intense media coverage of the affair undermined Martin’s presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial.

The appeal court, which rules on matters of legal procedure and not on substance, will either decide on 15 December whether the appeals are admissible or it will adjourn for consultations.

Dutroux’s accomplices, Michel Lelievre and Michel Nihoul, sentenced to 25 and five years respectively, have not appealed their convictions.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news