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Protests in Brussels over parole for paedophile serial killer's accomplice

Families of Marc Dutroux’s victims staging protest over freeing of Michelle Martin.

March 2004 file photo of Michelle Martin.
March 2004 file photo of Michelle Martin.
Image: Yves Logghe/AP/PA

FAMILIES OF THE victims of Belgian paedophile serial killer Marc Dutroux will stage a fresh protest in Brussels Sunday in their fight to overturn a decision granting his ex-wife and accomplice parole.

Protestors are due to leave from Brussels Nord train station at 2 pm and march to the capital’s courts.

Sunday’s demonstration is the latest in a series of protests following a court ruling earlier this month to free Michelle Martin, who has served 16 years of her 30-year sentence for her involvement in the kidnap, rape and deaths of two young girl victims of Dutroux in the 1990s.

Martin, 52, is due to be released on parole to a convent that has agreed to house her, pending a state appeal.

1 August 2012: Graffiti was sprayed onto the walls of the Poor Clares Monastery in Malonne, Belgium in reaction to the eventual arrival to the monastery of Michelle Martin. In French, it reads ‘No’ and includes the initials M.M. for Michelle Martin. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Jean-Denis Lejeune, the father of one of Dutroux’s victims who called the protest, will later meet with Belgian Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom along with the parents of three other victims.

The march will have echoes of a similar protest over the case 16 years ago known as the White March.

In October 1996, 300,000 people wearing white marched after Dutroux’s arrest to demand reforms of Belgium’s police and justice systems and better protection for children.

People did not have to dress in white on Sunday, but “the watchword is serenity”, said Lejeune.

Dutroux was jailed for life in June 2004 for the kidnap and rape in the 1990s of six young and teenage girls, and the murder of the four of them who died.

Martin, 52, was herself convicted in 2004 for helping Dutroux hold his victims prisoner, and of complicity in the deaths of two of the girls, found starved to death in a locked cellar.

Belgium’s top appeal court is due to decide on August 28 whether to uphold the decision to release Martin.

- (c) AFP, 2012

Court releases wife of notorious Belgian paedophile and child murderer >

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