No-one pressured meinsists Dutroux investigator
8 March 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian public prosecutor in charge of handling the investigation into the crimes of alleged child murderer Marc Dutroux on Monday insisted no-one had tried to interfere with his enquiries.
Speaking at the opening of the second week of Dutroux’s trial in the Belgian city of Arlon, prosecutor Jacques Langlois said he had worked entirely independently since taking on the Dutroux case in 1996.
He told the court that he wanted to say in a “firm and definitive” manner that he had “not be put under any pressure” by either the police, Belgian politicians or the country’s legal establishment.
Ever since the Dutroux investigation began nearly eight years ago, rumours have abounded in Belgium that the suspected child killer is being protected by shadowy people in high places. The rumours have never been proved.
Langlois also said on Monday that crimes Dutroux committed in 1985 could in some ways be seen as a ‘blueprint’ for the current offences he stands accused of.
In 1989 Dutroux was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping several young girls in 1985. He was released early in 1992.
But Langlois nevertheless stressed that the 1985 crimes were different to the offences for which Dutroux was arrested in 1996. In 1985, Dutroux did not kill any of his victims, nor did he use drugs to sedate them, the prosecutor pointed out.
Earlier in the day Dutroux himself said that when he was arrested in 1996 he had had to plead with police officers for over an hour before they would let him lead them to the place he had hidden two girls he had kidnapped.
The two, Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez, were found alive in a secret cell at one of Dutroux’s properties.
Police witnesses did not comment directly on Dutroux’s allegations and they also failed to give a clear answer to one of Laetitia Delhez’s lawyers who asked whether the two girls could have been found earlier.
One of the policemen who was present when the girls were freed did say however that they were so well hidden that, “99 percent of Belgians would have walked straight past them.”
On Monday Dutroux also agreed to waive his right not to be photographed in court.
Dutroux is accused of kidnapping six girls, including Sabine Dardenne and Laetitia Delhez, and of mudering four of them.
The trial continues.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news