Expatica news

Dutroux victim’s fatherslams Belgian justice

25 June 2004

BRUSSELS – Following a major public tribute held for two eight year-old girls found raped and starved to death at the house of convicted Belgian paedophile and child killer Marc Dutroux, the father of one of the girls has spoken of his anger that the circumstances of the crimes remain a mystery.

Some 250 people gathered Thursday in Grace-Hollogne in Liege province to remember Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo on the ninth anniversary of their kidnapping by convicted child killer Marc Dutroux.

The peaceful and emotional gathering included children and adults who came bearing flowers, balloons and white ribbons to pay homage to the two deceased girls, just days after Dutroux was sentenced to life in prison for a string of kidnappings, murders and rapes.

Julie and Melissa disappeared June 24, 1995, from the streets of Liege and left to starve to death in a cellar at one of Dutroux’s properties while he was serving a jail sentence. Autopsy reports revealed the two girls had been raped and beaten.

Precise details of how the eight-year-olds were captured, imprisoned and eventually died were still unclear following the four-month-long trial in Arlon, it was reported earlier this week.

In an interview with Le Soir published Friday, Jean-Denis Lejeune said it would take him some time to overcome the trauma of the last nine years without his daughter as well as the ordeal of the trial that has just ended. He said that even if Dutroux insisted that he did not kidnap the girls, he must know who did.

Lejeune also maintained that although Dutroux claimed he was in prison at the time the girls passed away, his ex-wife Michelle Martin could have done something to save the girls while they were still alive. Martin was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

As for the trial itself, Lejeune said he found it to be ‘very well-organised,’ but said he continues to lack faith in the Belgian judicial process.

“I still do not have a good view of the justice system, because of the events that led to the crimes and the trial,” he said.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject : Belgian news