Ruling expected as lawyers eye early release of infamous paedophile Dutroux
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Ruling expected as lawyers eye early release of infamous paedophile Dutroux

Marc Dutroux has jailed for life for abducting, raping and torturing six girls, four of whom died. Credit: © Belga

A decision on whether the mental state of infamous paedophile Marc Dutroux can be reassessed as his lawyers work to request his conditional release from prison will be delivered on Monday.

The ruling will follow a request by Dutroux’s lawyers on 17 October to have a committee of psychological experts reassess their client’s mental state and particularly whether he is at risk of recidivism.

The Brussels criminal enforcement court (TAP/SURB) is expected to reach a decision by 1 PM on Monday, following a deliberation behind closed doors, BX1 reports.

If the court approves the establishment of the expert’s committee, its conclusions could open the door to the conditional liberation of Dutroux, arguably Belgium’s most hated convict, who has been previously described by experts as a psychopath.

Dutroux was jailed for life in 2004 for the assisted abduction of six girls aged between 8 and 19, who he repeatedly raped and tortured in his cellar.

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He was also charged with killing his two oldest victims, 17-year-old An Marchal and 19-year-old Eefje Lambrecks, while the two others, Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo, both eight, died of starvation in his cellar.

The criminal case rocked Belgium in the mid-90s, leading to wide-ranging reforms of the police system and sparking one of the largest demonstrations in the country.

At the end of September, Dutroux’s accomplice Marc Lelièvre, who had been imprisoned since 1996, was granted conditional release by the TAP court. His effective release hinges on a series of conditions, including finding appropriate accommodation.

While the decision sparked widespread condemnation from the public, Lelièvre’s lawyer said the ruling was “pragmatic,” since allowing him to serve out his full sentence “opened the door to no follow-ups upon his release.”

Depending on the decision of the court on Monday, Dutroux’s lawyers are expected to request his conditional release by 2021.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times