A Belgian court has ruled that the former wife and accomplice of child-murderer Marc Dutroux can be released from jail and sent to a convent.
Michelle Martin has served over half of a 30-year sentence for her part in helping Dutroux kidnap and rape six girls. He killed two of them and left the other two to starve to death.
“She’ll help the sisters in their humanitarian projects” said Martin’s lawyer Thiery Monreaux. “In particular with their food packages. She’ll prepare boxes that will be dispatched to the needy. This goes well with what Madame Martin really wants to do – concrete things to repent because she feels guilty.”
If the move goes ahead Michelle Martin will be moved to a convent 60 kilometres from Brussels in the village of Malonne. The building is adjacent to a kindergarten which is causing concern for local residents.
“This worries me because I have children. One of them is at the kindergarten here”, said Sybille Stilmant.
Michel Dethier was clearly angry at the move:
“The Clarissen convent was a place that welcomed our children who came here to Saint-Berthuin school. Today, we welcome assassins, I’m sorry to say it! This is a shame, this is monstrous, this is not right”.
The crimes horrified Belgians in the mid-90’s. The bodies of two girls were found in a makshift dungeon. They had been starved to death. Two others were raped, drugged and buried alive.
A lawyer for the families of two of the victims says he plans to launch an appeal over the way the release hearing was handled.