Dutroux has been eligible for conditional release since 2013, but his series of crimes deeply scarred Belgium, with the prospect of his or his accomplices’ release in the past leading to public outcry.
A court decision in September to grant conditional freedom to Michel Lelièvre, one of Dutroux’s main accomplices, sparked fierce opposition and has seen calls for a massive “White March” to protest the decision.
Dutroux’s lawyers, who are preparing the conditional liberation request, have denounced the conditions in which their client is being held, with one of his attorneys, Bruno Dayez, has called it “scandalous” that he has been left to “rot” for half a century in prison, according to Le Soir.
Despite wide opposition to news of her client’s conditional release, Lelièvre’s lawyer said it was a “pragmatic choice,” since allowing him to serve out his full sentence “opened the door to no follow-ups upon release.”
The prospect of Dutroux’s liberation, which his lawyers expect to obtain by 2021, will be dependent on the conclusions reached by the committee of experts on Thursday.