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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 22:31 GMT 23:31 UK
Belgian king wins paedophile rebuttal
Belgium's King Albert II
A formal denial by King Albert II will go into every book
By Hugh Schofield in Paris

The French publishers of a book about paedophelia in Belgium have been ordered to insert a formal denial by the Belgian King, Albert II, of some of the allegations it contains.

King Albert and the Belgian Government went to court in Paris because they said the book, The Paedophile Dossier, contained a series of unfounded libels.

The book, by two French journalists, is a sensationalist account of the case of Marc Dutroux, the alleged sex offender and killer whose discovery five years ago caused such trauma in Belgium and the country's political establishment.

Apart from general accusations of government cover-ups, the authors personally connect the name of King Albert with the scandal, saying that as crown prince he attended parties at which paedophiles were present.

Royal fury

The royal palace in Brussels was furious at the book's publication.

In court, the king's lawyers said the book was founded on rumours, insinuations and lies and they demanded the inclusion of a rebuttal.

The judge agreed and now every copy of the book must contain an addendum indicating the king's protests at the attack on his personal reputation.

The judge did not, however, uphold a parallel plea from the Belgian Government complaining about allegations concerning its handling of the affair.

She said it was a political matter which did not come under the court's jurisdiction.

See also:

31 Aug 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Belgium
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