Belgium sticks victim with bill for trial

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The Belgian state has stuck the father of five children who were murdered by their mother in 2007 with the bill for convicting her of the crime, the Le Soir daily reported on Saturday.

BRUSSELS - A Belgian court sentenced Genvieve Lhermitte to life in prison in December 2009 for killing her son and four daughters, aged three to 14, while her husband was on a trip to Morocco.

As Lhermitte is incarcerated and insolvent, the Belgian state has sought to recover court expenses and collect fines from her then husband, Bouchaib Moqadem.

"I don't know what to say. I am disgusted and revolted that I, who was wrongly deprived of my children, am being asked to pay for the trial of my ex-wife, who was convicted of murdering my five children by cruelly slitting their throats," Moqadem was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The bill appears to conform with Belgian law, the newspaper said, with the state seeking funds due to have been shared from the sale of their house under their divorce agreement.

However Moqadem's lawyer, in a letter to Finance Minister Didier Reynders, called for "administrative requirements to be balanced by decency" given the nature of the tragedy.


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