French quiz ‘serial killer’ Fourniret in Belgium
DINANT, Belgium, Jan 31 (AFP) - French justice officials arrived Monday in southern Belgium to place self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret under judicial investigation for six murders, a key step before charges are laid.
The six killings are among eight murders and an attempted slaying to which he has admitted and a ninth murder for which his wife has blamed him.
The French investigating magistrates and a prosecutor arrived at the court in Dinant where they are to quiz Fourniret, a 62-year-old Frenchman.
Fourniret is being held at Dinant because he has already been charged with the murders of two girls in the country, but the six cases being investigated by the French officials were all on French soil.
All of the victims were female, several of them young girls. The crimes date back to 1987.
Under French law a judicial investigation normally precedes formal charges.
A judicial source said Fourniret was likely to be interviewed until Thursday.
Fourniret was placed under investigation Monday for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 13-year-old Mananya Thumpong, who vanished in northeast France in May 2001 and whose body was recovered in the Belgian Ardennes the following March.
In the coming days, he is also due to be placed under investigation over the murders of Isabelle Laville in 1987, Fabienne Leroy in 1988, Jeanne-Marie Desramault in 1989, Natacha Danais in 1990 and Celine Saison in 2000.
His wife Monique Olivier, 55, who is also being held in custody in Belgium, was also due to be placed under judicial investigation for complicity in the four earliest of the six murders Fourniret is being questioned about.
She was placed under investigation Monday over the death of Natasha Danais, who was kidnapped and found dead on a beach in western France in 1990, according to the French prosecutor, Francis Nachbar.
The Belgian royal prosecutor in Dinant, Arnoud d’Aspremont Lynden, placed the pair under investigation on behalf of the French authorities, in what he said was the first such example of cross border police cooperation in Europe.
Nachbar said that Fourniret had behaved in a “very calm and collected” manner, had “agreed to answer the questions” of the Belgian prosecutor and had “confirmed his earlier statements.”
Fourniret denies both the accusations of rape and premeditation in Thumpong’s death, Nachbar said.
However, Nachbar said that Fourniret’s wife’s “recollections are flawed concerning vital parts of the investigation.
Lawyers representing Olivier told AFP she had seemed “extremely tense, stressed and introverted,” when they met with her before the weekend.
Nachbar said that the questioning would enable the French authorities to carry out “further investigations, searches and reconstitution work,” leading to the pair’s possible extradition to France within 18 months.
Subject: French News