Police raid centre of satanic sect


POLICE investigating a Belgian gang accused of child sexual abuse and murder raided the headquarters of a Satanic sect at the weekend looking for clues, RTBF television reported.

It said 150 police and special investigators raided the headquarters of the Institut Abrasax in Forchies La Marche, near the central Belgian city of Charleroi, on Saturday night.

The television showed police taking away bags of papers, video cassettes and a refrigerator. It said they also took away black magic ritual implements and human skulls. RTBF said the raid had been prompted by the discovery of an undated letter addressed to someone named Bernard asking him to remind someone else that a special ceremony was approaching and to remember a "special gift".

The letter was signed by "Anubis", an ancient Egyptian god and the assumed name of the high priest of the Abrasax sect.

A Frenchman, Bernard Weinstein, was an accomplice of a gang led by a convicted rapist, Marc Dufroux, who has admitted killing him. Weinstein's body was found alongside those of eight year olds Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo in mid August, buried on a property belonging to Dutroux in the town of Sars La Buissiere, south-west of Charleroi.

The two girls, abducted in June 1995, had starved to death earlier this year. Dominique Kindermans, the high priestess of the sect, said that to her knowledge neither Dufroux nor Weinstein had ever been members of, or connected with, Abrasax.

A spokesman for gendarmes searching an abandoned mine complex in nearby Jumet, a suburb of Charleroi, refused to comment on many link between the Abrasax raid and their own hunt for a secret hiding place they are convinced Duttoux had in the mine for abducted children.