Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Europe > Belgium


Yearbook 1996

1996 BelgiumBelgium. On August 13, Marc Dutroux in the town of Charleroi was arrested for being involved in the disappearance of several underage girls. Two days later, police found in his basement two girls, who were kidnapped and kept hidden, but who survived. It was the prelude to the unveiling of the so-called pedophile heritage in Belgium, which would have major consequences for the country. During the year, the remains were found after four murdered girls, and another eleven children were still missing at the end of the year.

According to, the political consequences of this became widespread. Confidence in the judiciary and police dropped dramatically, and the entire political establishment was questioned by citizens. Large popular demonstrations were organized, partly as support for the affected families and partly as a protest against what was perceived as legal root in Belgian society. Among other things, widespread protests were triggered when the very popular investigating judge, Jean-Marc Connerotte, was forced to resign, after the Supreme Court considered that he had been mutilated by attending a dinner at a charity event in favor of the victims of the pedophiles. In October, as a result of the popular protests, the government promised radical reform of the judiciary that would limit the political influence over the legal system.

1996 Belgium

The suspicion that the pedophile had protectors in the political system resulted, among other things. in that the country's Deputy Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was accused of mistreating an underage boy. However, he was released in December from the suspicion.

Still at the end of the year, police were looking for remains of pedophile victims.

The investigation into the 1991 murder of André Cools, leader of the Belgian Socialist Party and Deputy Prime Minister, resulted in the arrest of former Minister Alain van der Biest, suspected of involvement. More arrests were made, but no trial was initiated during the year.

Other Countries in Europe

Country Library Copyright 1996 - 2020 All Rights Reserved