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Belgium: Marc Dutroux to undergo new psychiatric expertise

The Belgian criminal Marc Dutroux, incarcerated for 23 years, will undergo a psychiatric assessment in the coming months, intended in particular to assess its dangerousness, decided on Monday the court of enforcement of sentences (TAP) of Brussels.

A panel of three psychiatrists will have to submit a final report “no later than May 11, 2020,” the judges said.

This examination was desired by the detainee's lawyers and the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office had delivered a favorable opinion on the application during the hearing before the TAP on 17 October.

It has not been reviewed since 2013

Marc Dutroux, 63 years old in November, was sentenced in 2004 to life imprisonment for kidnapping, kidnapping and raping six girls and girls in 1995-96, as well as the deaths of four of them – two murdered and two starving.

Fifteen years ago, during the trial in the Arlon Assize Court, he had been described by the experts as a “true psychopath”, “narcissistic pervert” and “manipulator”. But his mental health has not been the subject of any review since 2013, according to his lawyers.

Mr. Bruno Dayez, one of his lawyers, said he wanted to “update the psychiatric data”, in the perspective of a conditional release he wishes to obtain for his client by 2021, after 25 years of incarceration.

A mandatory step

This expertise by a college of psychiatrists is “a necessary step” – in the words of Mr. Bruno Dayez – on the long course towards a hypothetical early release.

Concretely if the expertise came to the conclusion that Marc Dutroux is no longer a danger for society, it would then build a reintegration project with a drop-off point, which could be complicated.

In addition, early release for those sentenced to 30 years and more is difficult to obtain in Belgium. The five TAP judges must decide unanimously and their decision is not subject to appeal.

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