7 July 2004
BRUSSELS – The French authorities will send a formal request to their Belgian counterparts to extradite suspected serial child killer Michel Fourniret, it was reported on Wednesday.
Belgian radio station Bel-RTL said on its website that the French authorities would be issuing a so-called European Arrest Warrant (EWA) for Fourniret within the next few days.
Former carpenter Fourniret is currently being held in the Belgian city of Dinant.
The Frenchman lives in this country and has been in Belgian custody since June 2003 when he was arrested for trying to kidnap a 14 year old girl in the town of Ciney.
But since Fourniret’s confession last week that he has murdered nine people, most of them French, the French authorities have made it clear they would like to detain him on their soil.
Aside from the killings the 62-year-old has confessed too, French investigators are currently looking into possible links between Fourniret and 30 unsolved disappearances or murders.
However, legal experts in Belgium also confirmed on Wednesday that they had agreed with their French counterparts to carry out separate national investigations into murders Fourniret is believed to have committed.
French investigators will look into French disappearances and murders and their Belgian opposite numbers will do the same with suspected crimes here.
The agreement means, for example, that Belgian experts will continue to investigate the disappearance and murder of Elisabeth Brichet, a 12-year-old Belgian girl who went missing in 1989.
Investigators are almost certain that a body discovered last weekend at one of Fourniret’s former homes belonged to the girl, although they are still waiting for official autopsy results.
The news that French and Belgian teams will continue to work on their own national investigations means it is possible that Fourniret could be tried for murders in both countries.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news