Court denies Marc Dutroux parole

Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux (centre), whose crimes horrified Belgium in the 1990s, is escorted by police officers at the Palace of Justice in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters

Belgian child murderer Marc Dutroux (centre), whose crimes horrified Belgium in the 1990s, is escorted by police officers at the Palace of Justice in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters

 

Belgian paedophile Marc Dutroux, who is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and abusing six girls in 1995 and 1996, and murdering four of them, has lost his bid for parole.

Dutroux, who has been in prison for 16 years, tried to convince a court that he would be no risk to the public if he was released while being monitored with an electronic ankle bracelet.

The ruling regarding the 56-year-old had been expected since prison officials and prosecutors had opposed his release.

Dutroux’s former wife, Michelle Martin - who had let two girls starve to death in a cellar while her husband was jailed for theft - was given early release in July, and now lives in a convent.

His mother said he would re-offend if released early, in an interview published today hours before the court was due to decide on his parole.

"I am certain he will start again," 78-year-old Jeannine told Le Soir Magazine in her first public comments since her son was jailed for life in 2004.

"Marc isn't ready to be released because he still wants to attribute to others the responsibility for what he did," she told the publication, which is usually published on Wednesday but rushed out a Monday edition with the interview.

Dutroux's case sent shockwaves through Belgium because of the horrific nature of the murders, and the fact that Belgian police visited one of Dutroux's houses while two victims, both eight years old, were being held there without finding them. The two later starved to death in a makeshift dungeon.

Under Belgian law, criminals can be freed after serving a third of their sentences, or after 15 years in the case of those who have received life.

Dutroux, who was arrested in 1996, was sentenced to life in 2004. He had already served two extra years under a separate charge, allowing him to request early release this year.

Agencies

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