Expatica news

Dutroux: ‘no grand conspiracy’

24 May 2004

BRUSSELS -Marc Dutroux was never part of a major paedophile network that included high placed members of the Belgian establishment, a lawyer representing the family of one of the suspected child murderers alleged victims said on Monday.

Paul Quirynen told the jury at Dutroux’s trail in the Belgian city of Arlon that the alleged murderer was a small time gangster who was clearly involved in the criminal underworld in his hometown of Charleroi. 

“The Dutroux affair centres on a network of henchmen, all of whom were capable of depraved acts in return for dirty money,” the lawyer said.

But he insisted that Dutroux had never formed part of a wider network, which some commentators have suggested included highly influential members of the Belgian establishment.

“To say that the Dutroux dossier has links with ballets roses [society parties involving sex with children – Ed], prostitution networks and corruption investigations would be going too far,” he said.

Quirynen is representing the family of An Marchal, a seventeen-year-old who in 1995 was found dead at one of Dutroux’s properties.

He began his comments to the court by paying tribute to the murdered girl.

“To An Marchal, who was born on 10 December 1977 in a home where she felt safe, and whose life was ended on 23 August 1995,” the lawyer said.

“They kidnapped you, humiliated you, tortured you, raped you and finally killed you. I would like to pay homage to you in the name of your parents, your brothers, your sister, of those who loved you, of Flanders, of Belgium, for whom you have become a symbol, a white angel,” he continued.

Quirynen also issued a blistering attack on Dutroux.

Turning to the alleged murderer he said:

“You are an abject individual, a pervert, almost unworthy to be called a human being.”

Quirynen’s argument that Dutroux was not part of a major network tallies with arguments that have been put forward by lawyers for another of the alleged murderers victims.

In 1995 Sabine Dardenne was freed from a secret cell in one of Dutroux’s houses after being held captive and repeatedly raped for over 80 days.

She says that during her entire captivity she only saw Dutroux and never had any indication that he was part of a wider network.

Dutroux himself insists he was acting on higher orders.

Quirynen’s comments on Monday heralded the closing stages of the Dutroux trail.

Over the coming two weeks other lawyers involved in the case will make their closing statements.

On 14 June, the jury is expected to retire to begin debating its judgement in the case.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news