A Belgian court will decide later today if the wife of child rapist and murderer Marc Dutroux can be released from prison into a monastery.
Michelle Martin has served little more than half her 30-years for her part in the crimes.
The move, which the hearing is likely to allow, has angered local residents in the town of Malonne where her new home would be adjacent to a Kindergarten.
“We are scared for our children obviously, for the other children as well”, said Celine Doignies, a local cafe owner. “We realise that she’ll be very close to a kindergarten, a school, and so, so when she goes out what will happen? If she meets another crazy guy, what will she do then?”
The crimes in the mid-90’s shocked Belgium. Martin was found guilty of aiding paedophile Dutroux who imprisoned and raped six girls and murdered two by letting them starve to death.
On Saturday some parents of the victims met the Belgian prime minister to discuss their concerns about sentencing and early release.
Jean-Denis Lejeune said:
“We came here and presented the prime minister with the issues that disturb us regarding the latest events, notably the conditional release of Michelle Martin. With her it’s too late. We can’t find a retroactive law, so it’s too late. But regarding others who’ve committed equally bad crimes, there’ll be changes at the justice department.”
The public too have been demonstrating their opposition to Martin’s release in a series of demonstrations. At the time people were not just stunned at the brutality but also at the incompetence of the police and judicial system.