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Dutroux not working alone, jury told 

Expatica News | 2 March 2004

BRUSSELS Suspected child murderer Marc Dutroux was not working alone but was part of a network, the public prosecutor at his trial in Arlon told the jury on Tuesday.

Reading out a 56-page statement summing up the events leading up to Dutroux's 1996 arrest, Royal Procurer Michel Bourlet said Dutroux was not an "isolated predator".

Bourlet argued that Dutroux's co-defendants, Belgian businessman Michel Nihould, his ex-wife Michelle Martin and his former sidekick Michel Lelievre, all stand accused of helping him kidnap six young girls, four of whom later died.

For the state prosecutor these facts show that Dutroux and his co-defendants made up a kind of network.

The prosecutor did not however comment on rumours that the four were just a small part of a wider mafia-controlled child porn network, as Dutroux himself has insisted repeatedly.

However, the judge presiding over the trial did agree on Tuesday that the court could consider certain documents linked to a separate and ongoing investigation into whether Dutroux was indeed part of a bigger criminal network.

One of Nihoul's lawyers, Olivier Attout, on Tuesday criticised the state prosecutor's opening statements saying they were unfavourable to his client.

"It is regrettable that that the act of accusation does not refer to elements that could be positive for the defence. This act only contains elements that are unfavourable to Mr. Nihoul," said Attout.

The trial continues.
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