The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 4—The Haunting Case of a Belgian Child Killer and How WikiLeaks Helped Crack It

The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 4—The Haunting Case of a Belgian Child Killer and How WikiLeaks Helped Crack Itn

nThe case of notorious homicidal pedophile Marc Dutroux, now serving a life sentence in Belgium, is infamous for the deep depravity of the crimes that were committed and witnessed.nEvidence emerged twice in the case, first in legal proceedings, secondly by the publication of many of the prosecution’s records by many have called a coverup perpetrated by the Belgian establishment. The episode is a definitive example of the exposure of deep judicial and political corruption leading to widespread public distrust in the legitimacy of their institutions of government.nDutroux leaving court during 2013 sentencing appeal.  (YouTube)nThis sentiment has been echoed most recently in the U.S., where the primary rigging in 2016 by the Democratic National Committee left many feeling that the rule of law has come to mean little in the face of an utterly corrupt establishment that has become unaccountable to the public.nThe Dutroux scandal set a precedent of mass public protest in response to such abuses, evident last year (2016) in South Korea’s response to the scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye and her advisor Choi Soon-Sil. nIt took the better part of a decade,/a> for the Belgian legal system to convict Marc Dutroux in 2004 for the mid-1990s kidnapping and rape of six girls, four of whom were murdered. The case was infamous for an inexplicably high number of mysterious deaths, suppression of evidence by the police, and numerous accounts from witnesses of extreme abuse perpetrated by a well-connected, violent pedophile ring.nThe case prompted roughly “The White March,” where  protesters adopted a color that in Belgium is a sign of hope. nThe Dutroux Affair left such deep scars on the consciousness of the Belgian population that roughly one third of Belgians who shared the surname Dutroux with the accused had their names legally changed. Despite the case having been legally concluded, many years later it is apparent that numerous significant elements of the important case remain unresolved.nArrestednThe case began with the arrest of Marc Dutroux in 1996. Two of the four dead girls found on his properties had been buried alive after being wrapped in plastic. Two more girls died of starvation in a home-made underground dungeon while Dutroux served a brief prison sentence. Part of the public outcry regarding the handling of Dutroux’s case stemmed from his previous convictions for similar rapes against young girls; despite the nature of these crimes, Dutroux had been released early, allowing him to re-offend.n Media reports describe victims kept in cages. A large amount of DNA evidence recovered from these cells were never analyzed by authorities, even though it may have revealed the identities of additional perpetrators. The defense regularly cited DNA evidence indicating that other people visited Dutroux’s cell, alluding to hundreds of human hairs that were never accounted for.nAdding to the botched nature of the case, police eventually admitted that they could have saved lives had they watched videos confiscated from Dutroux’s home showing him constructing the dungeon where some of the girls died.nDutroux’s lawyer commented in court on the failure to analyze DNA evidence found in the basement cell where two of Dutroux’s victims died: “Can people really make you believe there wasn’t a pedophile ring? We see clearly in the dossier material proof that other people than the accused here present frequented the cellar.” nDutroux’s claims regarding help from the police appeared to have been corroborated by seven arrests in the case, including that of a police officer.nDutroux and his counsel consistently alleged that he had abducted and abused girls with police help as part of a child trafficking and abuse network connected to the elite of the Belgian establishment during his criminal proceedings. The claims were discussed by The Washington Post, which also noted that police had said Dutroux was part of a child-prostitution ring that may also have been responsible for several other disappearances still unsolved. Reporters wrote that Dutroux’s “gang” allegedly offered to buy young victims for $5,000 apiece.nHouse where Dutroux held his victims, covered in a mural, 2015. (CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)nAccomplice Michel Nihoul nDutroux also claimed that Belgian businessman Michel Nihoul had been his accomplice and was his link with a larger criminal enterprise. Nihoul was charged in relation to the case with “kidnapping, rape, conspiracy, and drug offenses,” among a total of 13 people who were charged in connection with the Dutroux case. Nihoul was acquitted of charges connected to kidnappping, but was convicted of participating in a ring that trafficked drugs and people into Belgium.nNihoul had expressed confidence to The Guardian after charges were initially brought against him, saying that the case would never come to court because he had “information about important people in Belgium that could bring the government down.” During the interview Nihoul boasted, calling himself the monster of Belgium. His allusion to sexual blackmail material paralleled Marc Dutroux’s allegations during court proceedings that Nihoul was connected to a network of powerful child abusers.nAccording to the BBC,  investigators believed that Dutroux and Nihoul were both part of a larger human trafficking network: “Investigators believe Dutroux and Nihoul were planning a long distance prostitution trafficking network involving cars and the import of girls from Slovakia…” Fox News reported on the reaction of the mother of one of Dutroux’s victims, who said: “This has confirmed what I thought: They worked together… the recognition of this is a relief.”nNihoul’s conviction for trafficking drugs and people begs the question as to who else may have been involved in the network. Nihoul’s statement that he could  “bring the government down” implied his criminal activities included ties with influential individuals, which echoed statements made by Marc Dutroux.nWitnesses in the case identified Nihoul as a violent man who attended orgies where children were sexually abused, tortured and sometimes killed with members of the establishment present. The first judge in the case, Jean-MarcConnerotte, believed “Nihoul was the brains behind the operation,” The Guardian reported. The Telegraph reported that Dutroux’s lawyers had alluded to horrific claims of a “satanic cult” that included child sacrifice. nThere were over 800 mentions of Nihoul in the WikiLeaks dossier, published in 2009. The notes record the presence of a photo of Nihoul with “various political figures,” as well as a statement by Dutroux that: “Nihoul proposed to reduce [traffick] girls from Eastern countries.”nDescriptions of Dutroux in the dossier include his request of help from his brother in pushing a car laden with bodies into a canal. This instance was one of many observations in the dossier which strongly suggest that Dutroux and Nihoul were involved in more crimes than those for which they were charged, and that there may have been additional unknown accomplices in these acts. That these potential links were not investigated fueled public outrage at the failure of the Belgian judicial process.n

nPlease donate to Wikileaks, or the official defense fund. You can do so by going to https://wikileaks.org/donate, or https://defend.wikileaks.org/donate/n I need a notification of this donation, so I can track the totals raised by this event. You can do so by emailing antipentrap(at)protonmail.com, or sending a direct message to @antipentrap on Twitter. You can also fill out the donation notification form I created, it’s right here.n#vigil #Wikileaks #Assange

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