One year on Arlon counts the cost of Dutroux trial
1 March 2005
BRUSSELS – The small Belgian town of Arlon has been reflecting on the lessons it learnt from organising the Marc Dutroux trial, a year after it began.
The town, which last year saw thousands of journalists descend on it for the most infamous trial in the country’s history, has now returned to normal.
However, the tight security in Arlon during the trial has left the commune with an outstanding police bill of EUR 438,329.06.
Arlon’s mayor Guy Larcier told the Belgian media the trial taught the town’s authorities to communicate.
“With those involved in the trial, but also with the population,” he explained. “It’s something that we’ve been doing now on a daily basis for a year.
“If we had to do the trial again, we would do the same thing but with less security measures. We didn’t want to take any risks.”
Traders reported that they had seen their clientele change substantially before and after the trial.
The traders’ association’s president said: “The journalists who came en masse made up for the absence of our usual customers. Then everything returned to normal in the summer.”
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news