Child-murder suspect Marc Dutroux on trial for killings that shocked EuropeWell, they needed spare capacity to indict Sharon, that's why it took them so long. Who cares for a few dead children if they are not "Palestinian" and killed by Jews.
at 16:47 on March 1, 2004, EST.
ARLON, Belgium (AP) - Marc Dutroux dozed in a bulletproof dock Monday as he appeared before a jury for the first time to face charges of kidnap, rape and murder in a child-sex rampage that horrified Europe in the mid-1990s.
Dutroux, 47, and three co-defendants arrived before dawn under tight security and were escorted into the packed courtroom to avoid the throng of photographers and TV crews who descended on this town in the rural southeast of this nation of 10 million.
The case focuses on six girls who the prosecution says were randomly snatched from streets around Belgium in the mid-1990s, held prisoner in Dutroux's homes near the southern city of Charleroi and subjected to repeated sexual abuse.
Four died - including two eight-year-old school friends believed to have starved to death while imprisoned in a basement cell under Dutroux's home when the convicted rapist went to jail for car theft in 1995.
Although two other girls were rescued by police, the case caused public outcry after revelations of inept police work.
Since the discovery of the girls' bodies and Dutroux's arrest in August 1996, investigators have spent eight years preparing a trial which has dominated Belgian news for weeks.
(Big hat-tip to Gudrun Eussner!)