Dutroux gets life
22 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian child killer Marc Dutroux was on Tuesday sentenced to life in prison for a string of murders and rapes that shocked his country to the core.
Dutroux received a life sentence and will be ‘put at the government’s disposition’. This means the Belgian government could send him back to jail if ever he were released before the end of his life.
Dutroux’s ex-wife Michelle Martin was sentenced to 30 years in jail.
The child murderer’s accomplice Michel Lelievre received a 25-year jail term.
Michel Nihoul, the Belgian businessman acquitted of involvement in the rapes and murders Dutroux committed but found guitly of drug smuggling, people trafficking and dealing in stolen cars and false papers will go to prison for five years.
The sentences were read out at around 4.30pm after Stephane Goux, the judge who presided over Dutroux’s trial, spent almost an hour reading out the full list of all the crimes that the child killer and his three co defendents were accused and found guilty of.
The widely predicted sentence marks the end of a trial that has gripped Belgium for almost four months.
But for many analysts the end of Dutroux’s trial, which took place in the Belgian city of Arlon, is by no means the end of the ‘Dutroux affair’.
For many Belgians a large number of questions linked to the crimes Dutorux has been found guilty of remain unanswered.
Key among these is the issue of a shadowy paedophile network that the convicted child murder insists he was working for.
Based on the evidence presented at the trial in Arlon, the judges and jury said they had no reason to believe such a network existed.
But other investigations into the allegations are ongoing and until those inquiries are also completed, say analysts, questions are likely to remain about precisely who was implicated in the crimes Dutroux was sentenced for on Tuesday.
[Copyright Expatca 2004]
Subject: Belgian news