Thursday 23 November 2017

Dutroux's wife given transfer to convent

Jean De Brocker in Brusselles

Belgian judges have approved a request by the former wife of notorious Belgian paedophile killer Marc Dutroux to be transferred to a convent in France.

The transfer will take place after Michelle Martin (51) is released from prison.

Martin was arrested in 1996 for her part in helping Dutroux (54) kidnap six girls, four of whom were killed or died of neglect.

She was sentenced in 2004 to 30 years in prison after a drawn-out court case. She had appealed unsuccessfully three times to be released but a fourth and last attempt was granted this week.

"It is part of her proposal for probation, which has been evaluated over time and was accepted," Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck said.

He said he expected Martin to remain in the convent for the entire 10 years of her probation period.

He did not say where in France the convent was located.

Ms Martin had the right to apply for early release after serving a third of her 30-year jail term.

Good conduct was one of the factors the authorities had to consider when evaluating her application.

A public prosecutor has said Martin could be released soon if no more procedural complaints were made against her release.

De Clerck said it would take some time to co-ordinate her transfer to France with the French authorities and said she would remain in prison in Belgium until then.

Mons prosecutor Claude Michaux, who had until yesterday to launch an appeal on a procedural basis, said there were "no grounds" to appeal the ruling.

Ms Martin's wish to be sent to a convent in France comes little over a month after the Vatican sent paedophile bishop Roger Vangheluwe to a French monastery to undergo "spiritual and psychological treatment".

Dutroux, whose crimes shocked Europe in the 1990s and who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004, remains in prison and is not expected ever to be granted parole.

Ms Martin, is halfway through a 30-year jail sentence she received for complicity in the case.

Dutroux was detained along with Martin in 1996.

In a case that shocked Belgium, Dutroux was convicted of the kidnap and rape of six girls, teenage or younger.

Dutroux was first detained for the child abductions in 1996.

Irish Independent

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