Defendants in murder of disabled Liege teen speak out as final judgement looms

Defendants in murder of disabled Liege teen speak out as final judgement looms
The five youths on trial for torturing and killing a disabled teen from Liège were all found guilty of murder. Credit: © Belga

The five defendants found guilty of torturing and murdering a disabled teenage boy from Liège were allowed to address a final message to the jury on Tuesday, as the court prepares to deliver their sentences in the final judgement, expected in the afternoon.

A Liège jury last week found Alexandre Hart, 21, Belinda Donnay, 22, Dorian Daniels, 22, Loick Masson, 23, and Killian Wilmet, 18 all guilty of the murder of 18-year-old Valentin Vermeesch, who had a slight mental disability.

In 2017, the five defendants kidnapped and cruelly tortured Vermeesch for hours, before throwing him into the La Meuse river while he was still alive but tied-up.

Hart, who medical examiners questioned during the trial said fits the psychological profile of a psychopath, said he was "sorry about everything that has happened up until this point."

Donnay and Masson apologised to their young victim's family, "even if what happened is unforgivable," with the former adding that she would like to have the opportunity to build a life after serving her time.

Daniels said that he "very much regretted the events of that day," which he is now "going to have to live with."

Wilmet, who is the youngest of the group and was a minor at the time of the events, said: "I want to apologise to the people I hurt."

All defendants were also found guilty of battery, torture and inhuman treatment, while four of the five were indicted for rape.

On Monday, Liège prosecutors called for prison terms ranging from 29 years to life for the five defendants.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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