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Dutroux says police helped him kidnap girls

Published on 03/03/2004

3 March 2004

BRUSSELS – Suspected Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux on Wednesday said police officers helped him to kidnap two girls who were later found dead at one of his properties.

Speaking at his trial in the Belgian city of Arlon, Dutroux said he had abducted 17-year-old An Marchal and Eefje Lambreckx, 19, near to the port of Ostende. He said he was helped by sidekick, Michel Lelievere and two men who he later found out were police officers.

He did not name the alleged police officers but said that one of them, along with Leievre, had raped one of the girls.

He also admitted that he had raped Eefje.

Throughout the day Dutroux portrayed himself as a victim who had never intended to kill either An and Eefje, or Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo, two other girls found buried at one of his houses.

He said the murders were the fault of the three other people standing trial with him – Lelievre, Belgian businessman Michel Nihoul and his ex-wife Michelle Martin.

Dutroux said he had delivered An and Eefje to Nihoul and a man called Bernard Weinsten, a small-time crook also later found dead at one of Dutroux’s properties.

“I never thought they would kill them. I think it is very sad that those girls died. It is a catastrophe,” he said.

Dutroux also insisted he hid Julie and Melissa in a secret compartment in one of his houses in order to protect them from what he called the “Nihoul network”.

“I told them that they would have to go to someone nasty. They had the choice. Either go and join the Nihoul network, or stay at my house calm and well treated,” he said.

The two girls starved to death in the hideaway while Dutroux was serving a prison sentence for car theft. Their bodies were found buried in one of Dutroux’s houses in 1996.

In court on Wednesday Dutroux blamed his ex-wife for the deaths. He said he gave her 230,000 Belgian francs (EUR 5, 700) to pay for food for the girls while he was in prison and expected her to look after Julie and Melissa.

He said he had expected to see the two of them alive when he was released in March 1996.

“But they were dead,” he said.

Dutroux is charged, among other things, with the rape and murder of An, Eefje, Julie and Melissa and the rape of two other girls who were found alive at one of his properties.

The trial continues.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news