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Thousands of people have turned out at a protest in Brussels against the imminent release of the ex-wife of Belgian serial killer Marc Dutroux.

Among them was one of two surviving victims, Laetitia Delhez.

The gruesome crimes rocked the world when in 1996 Dutroux was convicted of kidnapping and raping several young girls. Michelle Martin was jailed for helping him.

They killed two of their victims and left two others to starve to death in a makeshift dungeon.

Sixteen years after he and Martin were imprisoned, she could be due for parole.

A court ruled last month that Martin, who is now 52, could be freed to live in a convent southeast of Brussels. The ruling, which is currently being appealed, has infuriated the victims’ parents.

“If we take the Michelle Martin case, who killed four children, who raped, imprisoned and kidnapped around 10 more, being set free after one third of the sentence is way too light,” said Jean-Denis Lejeune, father of one of the victims.

Dutroux is serving life for kidnap, torture and abuse.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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