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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Mother lashes France over murders
A photograph of Elisabeth Brichet
Elisabeth Brichet had been missing for 15 years
The mother of a murdered 12-year-old has attacked French authorities for not doing enough to prevent self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret carrying out his attacks.

Marie-Noelle Bouzet called on European governments to prevent the release of repeat offenders such as Mr Fourniret.

Elisabeth Brichet's remains were found earlier this month, buried in the grounds of Mr Fourniret's former home.

The girl is one of nine people the 62-year-old Frenchman says he killed.

The former forestry worker has been in custody since June 2003 and says his victims were mostly teenage girls, killed in Belgium and France between 1987 and 2001.

He is also suspected of more killings.

France and Belgium have only recently dealt with two other high-profile paedophile cases - the Dutroux case in Belgium and the Outreau paedophile trial in northern France.

And in France, it emerged on Wednesday that an 11-year-old boy missing since April had been held for a month before being killed by suffocation, the local prosecutor's office said.

Justice reform

In the Fourniret case, Ms Bouzet said that if French authorities had forced him to serve his entire sentence for earlier offences, he would never have assaulted her daughter.

Mr Fourniret was released early because of the length of time he had already spent in preventive detention.

I'm not a victim of Fourniret, I'm a victim of the French justice system
Marie-Noelle Bouzet
"People allowed him to kill once. People allowed him to kill twice. People allowed him to kill three times. People allowed him to kill 20 times. And these people are the justice system. So I'm not a victim of Fourniret, I'm a victim of the French justice system," Ms Bouzet said on Wednesday in the Belgian city of Namur, where she and her daughter once lived.

Ms Bouzet also criticised the "incompetence" of the Belgian investigators.

She argued for more severe punishment and for international co-operation, saying an international database of paedophiles and a European public prosecutor's office to tackle child abuse should be set up.

She also said she would create a European victims' organisation to keep up the pressure.

Mr Fourniret "should never be allowed free", she said.

Funeral

Her comments came five days after her daughter's funeral in Namur, which drew thousands of mourners.

Elisabeth Brichet disappeared in 1989, but her remains were not discovered until July this year.

Ms Bouzet returned to Belgium from Canada after Mr Fourniret confessed to her daughter's killing last month.

She moved to the Montreal area after many years of campaigning to keep her daughter's disappearance in the public eye.


SEE ALSO:
Serial killer's victim mourned
24 Jul 04  |  Europe
French 'killer' admits two more
02 Jul 04  |  Europe


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