Belgium. 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
Countryaah.com, 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.
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.