Bruno Dayez became Marc Dutroux’s solicitor a couple of months ago. Marc Dutroux has been in prison since August 1996 when he was arrested for the kidnapping of Laetitia Delhez and Sabine Dardenne and the murders of An Marchal, Eefje Lambrecks, Julie Lejeune and Mélissa Russo.
He was sentenced to life in 2004 with an additional 10 year sentence to run concurrent. The change that he will ever be released seemed unlikely. However, Bruno Dayez disagrees. “Absolutely not. I believe that there is a chance that he will be released early. After 25 years in prison, in 2021, he should be released. That is what I am working towards”.
The solicitor believes that this is a point of principle. “I don’t believe in life imprisonment. A prison isn’t a cemetery or a place of oblivion. You can’t exclude people from society until their death and this includes Marc Dutroux. After 25 years you should allow psychiatrists to make an evaluation: either he has become a better person and he deserves a second chance or nothing has changed, which means that the system hasn’t worked and we need to reform our entire prison system”.
A place in a monastery?
Mr Dayez says that sending Marc Dutroux to a monastery like his ex-wife and accomplice Michelle Martin was when she was released seems the most plausible plan.
“That is a possibility, house arrest with an ankle band too. We should in any case ensure that Marc Dutroux can’t just walk the streets freely. Not because he is a danger, but because of the danger he would be in.”
In the meantime, Bruno Dayez would like to see conditions improved for his client in Nivelles Prison in Walloon Brabant.
“Marc Dutroux should enjoy the same rights as all other prisoners. This means that his letters shouldn’t be opened, that he should be granted more visits and that he should have more contact with other prisoners. He is now completely isolated from other prisoners.
They say that this is for his own safety. If this is true, it once again proves the failure of our system. Is there really no other way to protect someone’s life than to isolate them from all other people?
Justice Minister: "Against people’s sense of justice”
In a reaction to the interview, the Justice Minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat) said that the chance that Marc Dutroux will ever be released is very small.
“The question is whether people’s sense of justice could live with him being released and I think that the answer is negative.”, Mr Geens said.