Arlon Investigative judge Jacques Langlois is retiring in two weeks-time and he looked back on his career while talking to L’Avenir on Saturday.
Langlois was the judge who handled the delicate Dutroux and Pierson cases.
The President of the Neufchâteau First Instance Tribunal, Francis Monet, asked Langlois to take over when Jean-Marc Connerotte was removed from the Dutroux case by the Cassation court in 1996.
“I took a day off to think about it. I was 42 years-old and had just six weeks experience as an investigator. In the end I decided I was ready for the challenge!” Langlois will turn 66 in November.
“I have no regrets about the way we handled it. I was surrounded by a team of highly skilled investigators. I testified for a whole week, then I was bombarded with some very tough questions for three days. I felt comfortable saying I was certain we had covered everything,” Langlois said when asked about the Arlon trial.
Langlois said he had received a “considerable quantity” of anonymous letters full of insults and threats, but also letters of support.
“Bourlet and Connerette opted for security measures like armoured cars and alarm systems, but I didn’t want any of that. I wanted to continue to live a normal life.”
The Gaume magistrate said he was “worried” about changes in the justice system and the status of investigative judge. He said the current system, which includes a Council Chamber or Indictment Chamber, is a good safe-guard that shouldn’t be scrapped.
The Brussels Times