Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Belgian court opts to keep pedophile murderer in prison

AP, BRUSSELS

Pedophile killer Marc Dutroux was on Monday denied conditional release from jail, which would have allowed him to walk the streets with an electronic ankle bracelet in the latest turn in a case that has long transfixed and horrified Belgium.

Dutroux is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and abusing six girls between 1995 and 1996. He was also found to have murdered two of the girls and let two others starve to death in a dungeon.

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 with electronic monitoring.

However, the court said in a statement that the 56-year-old Dutroux “could not present a concrete plan of reclassification and he knows that there is at this time no chance of social reintegration.”

Prison officials, prosecutors and even Dutroux’s mother had opposed his release, as did relatives of the victims.

The ruling “is exactly as I expected,” said Jean Lambrecks, whose 19-year-old daughter, Eefje, was killed by Dutroux.

However, despite the near-certainty that he would have to stay in jail, the court decision dominated newscasts in Belgium, showing how Dutroux remains one of the nation’s most reviled criminals.

It also came months after a controversial decision that gave early conditional release to Dutroux’s former wife, Michelle Martin — who had let two girls starve to death in a cellar while her husband was jailed for theft. Michelle Dutroux now lives in a convent.

Dutroux’s mother, Jeannine, said in a rare interview published on Monday that her son should not be freed because she was “sure that he would start again.”

“Marc is not ready to be freed because he still wants to blame others for his acts,” she told Le Soir newspaper.

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