Belgium’s most notorious criminal has asked a court to grant him early release from prison.
Marc Dutroux was convicted of abducting, imprisoning and raping six young girls in 2004.
He was given a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering two of the girls at a house in the town of Marcinelles.
Feelings in the town remain strong. “He should not be let out if he hasn’t done the full sentence,” said one woman, “in some cases yes but this one no.”
Dutroux is in total isolation in prison and has no contact with other inmates. Prison authorities say this is for his own safety.
He wants to be released to house arrest with electronic tagging after having served 16 years of his jail term.
His lawyer Pierre Deutsch admits reprisals are an issue to be considered. “Most people are more accepting than you would imagine, but it is true that some weirdos want to hurt him, and he is aware of that and that is why we will not say where he might go if he is released,” he said.
Dutroux kept his victims in the basement of his house. His ex-wife Michelle Martin was sentenced to 30 years for her part in the crime but released last July. A decision is not expected until the middle of the month.