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Prosecution demands life for Dutroux

Published on 21/06/2004

21 June 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux should go to prison for life and his three co-defendants should also receive hefty jail sentences, Belgian prosecutors said on Monday.

Speaking at the court in Arlon where a jury last week found Dutroux guilty on three counts of murder and multiple charges of kidnap and rape, Belgian prosecutor Michel Bourlet said the guilty man must receive a life sentence. 

Bourlet said Dutroux’s crimes, “justify the heaviest penalty, life in prison.”

Under Belgian law sentences are not agreed at the same time that verdicts are announced, which is why the court is now considering the price Dutroux must pay for his crimes.

Bourlet told the court that Dutroux had shown himself to be a manipulative, narcissistic psychopath who felt no remorse for what he had done and that he was “incapable of changing.”

The prosecutor also pointed out that in 1989 Dutroux had been sentenced to 13 and a half years in jail for rape and kidnap.

“Those penalties did not open his eyes,” the prosecutor said.

Bourlet also said that Dutroux’s ex-wife, Michelle Martin and his former sidekick Michel Lelievre should both go to jail for at least 30 years for helping Dutroux to commit his crimes.

The prosecutor said in the case of Martin such a severe penalty was justified because she had decided to stay with Dutroux even after he had been convicted in 1989.

“She knew Marc Dutroux had decided to start [committing crimes] again after he was released,” Bourlet told the court.

“She knew what that meant and she accepted it knowingly,” he added.

The prosecutor said Belgian businessman Michel Nihoul should spend at least ten years in jail.

The court last week acquitted Nihoul of any involvement in the kidnaps and murders Dutroux was found guilty of.

The three senior judges in charge of the case made the decision after the jury was unable to agree on whether or not the businessman was guilty.

But Nihoul was found guilty of drug trafficking, trading in stolen vehicles and peddling stolen documents.

These crimes in themselves merited a jail sentence of at least ten years, said Bourlet.

Nihoul’s acquittal was extremely controversial as Dutroux always claimed the businessman was a key player in a shadowy paedophile network that included high placed members of the Belgian establishment.

The court is due to decide the sentences Dutroux, Martin, Lelievre and Nihoul will receive on Tuesday or Wednesday.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news