Belgium probes threats against paedophile’s accomplice
Belgian authorities said Friday they have launched an investigation into online threats against an accomplice of notorious child-killer Marc Dutroux following his release from prison.
Michel Lelievre was targeted by posts on a secret Facebook group calling for members of the public to track him down in Brussels and “make his life hell until his death,” according to Belgian media reports.
Lelievre, 48, was granted conditional release from prison on December 2.
He was sentenced in 2004 to 25 years behind bars for helping Dutroux abduct and rape six girls in the mid-1990s. Two of Dutroux’s victims were murdered and two died of starvation in a dungeon he kept in the basement of his home.
Dutroux, aged 63 and still serving a life sentence in prison, is considered one of the worst criminals in Belgium’s history.
Lelievre, his go-to assistant, was convicted of helping him kidnap two teenage girls in 1995 whose bodies were later found next to those of two eight-year-old girls buried on one of Dutroux’s properties.
He was also sentenced for abetting Dutroux in the abduction of two other girls who were found alive, kept captive in a house in the southern city of Charleroi.
Last week, Lelievre was beaten in his Brussels apartment by unidentified intruders, forcing him to quickly find a new address in one of the Belgian regions permitted under the terms of his release.
The Facebook group, which has since been closed down, contained posts from participants apparently writing under their real identities urging further vigilante persecution.
“Our system of justice is incapable of protecting its citizens, so it’s up to the people to ensure their own security,” one message reportedly said, calling for “this ferocious beast to be hunted down”.
The Brussels prosecutors office confirmed to AFP that an investigation had been opened into the threats.