Belgium: Dutroux's jailed ex-wife to transfer to convent

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Belgium: Dutroux's jailed ex-wife to transfer to convent

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The jailed ex-wife of child killer Marc Dutroux is set to be released from jail within weeks, after a Belgian court ruled she could be transferred to a convent.

Michelle Martin has served more than half of a 30-year prison sentence, for her part in helping Dutroux kidnap six girls – four of whom were killed or died of neglect.

“For Michelle Martin, nothing is erased and, as she says herself, her culpability will haunt her to the grave. But she cannot change what has been done. The only thing she can still do is redeem herself,” her lawyer Thierry Moreau said.

Martin will be moved to a convent 60 kilometres outside Brussels. Marc Dutroux, who was in convicted in 2004, will remain behind bars.

Two of the girls who were kidnapped starved to death and were found in a basement dungeon. Two other victims were raped and beaten before being drugged and buried alive in a garden.

The shocking crimes brought thousands of protesters out onto the streets of Brussels, with the authorities being accused of negligence over their handling of the case.