Cmd. Jean Luc Duterme: Officer in the BOB. From 1984 to about 1988, right hand man of Nijvel/Nivelles prosecuter of the king Jean Depretre in the Gang of Nijvel investigation. In this investigation, Depretre exercised a large amount of influence on examining magistrate Jean-Marie Schlicker. Depretre rejected all evidence that indicated political motives of the Gang of Nijvel and the involvement of the extreme-right. He requested to gendarme general Robert "Bob" Bernaert (Duterme's boss), a good friend of general Fernand Beaurir, that BOB officer Gerard Bihay and his colleagues, who had written a report that made a strong case for high level involvement in the Gang of Nijvel, were demoted to the traffic section of the BOB.
After kicking Bihay and his colleagues out the door, Duterme brought in a number of other BOB officers to investigate the ties of the Gang of Nijvel. One of these officers was Didier Mievis, who several years earlier had appeared in a report about Group G, a fascist-nazi group involved in an elaborate plan to overthrow the Belgian state. Mievis belonged to Group G and was known to have provided Francis Dossogne with classified internal documents of the gendarmerie. At the time that he was brought over to Duterme's investigating cell, Mievis was still in contact with Dossogne (paid "advisor" to Baron de Bonvoisin; took his orders from Army Intelligence major Jean Bougerol, head of PIO and personally picked by Vanden Boeynants and Baron de Bonvoisin; another "private detective"; director of CIDEP, publisher of the fascist NEM magazine; good friend Jean Bultot, who is closely tied to the Gang of Nijvel; gave permission to Paul Latinus in '78-'79 to reorganize the Brussels department of Front de la Jeunesse; according to Martial Lekeu, Dossogne, Latinus and DEA agent Frank Eaton were leaders of Group G, a Nazi-inspired NATO-sanctioned parallel organization within the Gendarmerie).
Duterme publicly accused examining magistrate Jean-Marie Schlicker of only being interested in the fascist links to the Gang of Nijvel because of his Jewish background. When Schlicker pushed through in 1985, not only did Depretre everything he could to stop him, Schlicker's wife and kids were also threatened. In late 1985, Depretre became determined to prove that the Borains, a reasonably insignificant gang of criminals, were behind the Gang of Nijvel terror campaign. The Borains were acquitted from all charges in 1988, after a ballistics report turned up that proved their innocence. This report had been hidden away by Depretre. Around the same time, the Court of Cassation removed Depretre from the Gang of Nijvel investigation, because he was considered not objective enough. However, Depretre, with the help of Duterme, had slowed down the investigation enough in the first few crucial years that in the period after that it turned out to be impossible to find the real perpetrators of the Gang of Nijvel terror campaign.
No. 2 of the BOB in Brussels at the time the Dutroux affair began, under Lt.-Col. Jean-Marie Brabant. Commandant in the Gendarmerie. Sent to Neufchateau on December 1, 1996 to coordinate the investigation of the network that Dutroux was involved with, as claimed by a number of victim-witnesses. Besides Lt.-Col. Brabant, Lt.-Col. Guido Torrez, head of the Neufchateau district of the gendarmerie, was responsible for Duterme's appointment to this position. Already in 1989-1990, it had been found out that Torrez had taken orders from Annie Bouty and Michel Nihoul to leave an important criminal alone. Torrez was a close friend of police commissioner Georges Marnette, who also came to Neufchateau to manipulate the whole investigation. Prosecutor of the king Michel Bourlet preferred to speak directly to the inspectors and not via their superior Commandant Duterme. Duterme, as a man who attached great importance to formality, could not appreciate this, nor the informal way the whole team of De Baets and other personnel worked with each other.
Duterme even fired Aime Bille, literally for working too hard (and on a Saturday, which formally wasn't allowed). He was only allowed to return after De Baets spoke with Duterme. Within two weeks, Duterme began filing official complaints to his superiors about the informal ways of the Neufchateau investigators. In late December, at his own initiative, Commandant Duterme began to re-read (i.e. manipulate) the existing statements of X1. This is a highly unusual procedure, and in this case virtually unique, because under normal circumstances a magistrate would have to give the order to re-read, not a mid-, or even a higher level, BOB officer.
Interestingly, Duterme did not speak Dutch very well, the language in which the interviews had been conducted. Partly as a result of that, he began to make rather ridiculous notes next to certain passages. He asked the help of three other colleagues, and again none of these individuals spoke Dutch very fluently. Some of them were already involved in the campaign to discredit X-witness Nathalie W. Duterme's re-reading efforts continued throughout the first half of 1997. De Baets: "It comes down to the fact that some resolutely chose for their careers. To be liked by Duterme it was enough to joke around a bit with isolated passages from the X1 hearings. For them it was a kind of amusement." In mid-February 1997, Patriek De Baets (interviewer of X1; originally worked in cooperation with Connerotte and Bourlet) had put together a list of 43 targets at which he wanted to do a house search, this in order to confirm (more) aspects of the testimony of X1. At that point Duterme inquired about these targets, and ordered that 5 or 6 would be more than enough. Ultimately they were all scrapped.
Instead, on March 20, 1997, the home of X1 herself was raided, officially in an effort to find evidence that she had gotten her information from newspapers and books (in reality it was just an effort to intimidate X1). June 3, 1997 note written by Duterme to the BOB commandant in Brussels:
"At times I had the impression that sensational arrests and a mediatized dossier were his [De Baets'] primary concerns. Based on my observations, and supported herein by other investigators, I have put together a team to re-read and analyze the past interviews of adjutant De Baets... I was confronted with a manipulating investigator..., a dangerously subjective investigator who never wanted to admit that his own presupposed hypotheses might just be wrong..., I was confronted with an investigator who used the sensitive and emotional climate after the Dutroux case to ignore his hierarchy, with as only aim to caress his own vanity... The position of the person involved within the investigation is, like I explained earlier, very important and a possible measure to remove him, at the moment would look very bad. Some could possibly believe or make believe that one is trying to derail the investigation."
On July 3, the "final" (more would follow) re-read was finished, which repeated these accusations. On July 10, Van Espen, Langlois, Duterme and the three other re-readers secretly came together and decided to temporarily relieve De Baets and his team from the X-dossier case. This group never contacted De Baets with these re-reads during the time they were writing them, never watched any of the videos of X1, and only re-read three of the seven reports in which Christine van Hees was mentioned. These were parts 1, 2, and 7. They ignored parts 3, 4, 5, and 6, even though Van Hees had also been described in these parts. Not that it mattered, because the re-reads that had been done were based on deceptive argumentation, as shown point for point in the 1999 book 'The X-Dossiers'.
In a later stage, the re-read reports were given to the media, without the whole testimony being made available. On August 20, 1997, Duterme decided to sack De Baets and his team from the X-dossier case all together. The only member of De Baets' team that was allowed to stay was Danny De Pauw, who had joined the camp of Duterme and Langlois. One of his colleagues later said that Danny had done this for the simple reason of saving his career. That same August 20, Duterme filed an official complaint against De Baets and his colleagues that they were manipulating X1 during the interviews, allegedly leading to "rumors" of high level child abuse networks. The weekly magazine Pan, headed by Paul Vanden Boeynants (accused by X1 and others), joyously reported on August 21 that De Baets and his team had been removed from Neufchateau.
Interestingly, the investigators themselves were only told about their removal on August 25, by Col. Brabant (Duterme's superior), who had recently sanctioned a media campaign against Nathalie W. by the same re-readers. Jacques Pignolet was appointed as the examining magistrate to investigate the complaints of Duterme and Van Espen. Starting around this time, De Baets was attacked by Baron de Bonvoisin (accused by X1 and others) and some of his associates. They made up claims that subsequently also had to be investigated by Pignolet. In June 2000, however, De Baets and his team members were fully acquitted of any charges that they had been manipulating X1 during interviews. They also were acquitted of all the accusations made by Baron de Bonvoisin & Co. Pignolet's team of investigators had found absolutely nothing after almost three years of research on the team of De Baets. However, the X-dossiers were not reopened as a result of that.
Interview with Patrick De Baets, Humo, September 28, 1999 and October 5, 1999, 'Marc Dutroux and Michel Nihoul: the sabotage of an investigation':
"I think that he [Duterme] followed the orders from his hierarchical superiors: Jean-Marie Brabant, commandant of the BOB-Brussels, and Guido Torrez, commandant of the Brussels district. Torrez had a good reason to stop me: he had earlier in his career intervened in favor of Annie Bouty, the ex of Nihoul. If that were to come out, if he would be linked to that couple at that moment, he would be branded for the rest of his career. And Brabant absolutely did not want to he held accountable for Nihoul being a non-registered informant of the BOB. Those men had to protect themselves. They pulled the strings, they instructed Duterme. I think that the investigation has been sabotaged from a lower echelon, by people who have been in contact with Nihoul and who have contacts and friends with the police services and the magistracy. And who have good contacts in the press, because the press had to infuse the "this-cannot-be-true" atmosphere with the public."
Several years after the Dutroux and X affair broke out, Marie-Jeanne Van Heeswyck, together with another journalist, was sued by Commandant Duterme for writing that Duterme was sabotaging the X investigation. The journalists were forced to pay 12,500 euros in compensations. Van Heeswyck was a journalist with Le Journal Le Mardi, co-founded with the lawyer of the parents of Loubna Benaïssa, the girl that was murdered by a paedophile (seemingly part of a network). Van Heeswyck also was a co-author of the 1999 book 'The X-Dossiers'. (X-dossier investigators; ISGP)