A Roman Catholic deacon and former nurse, Ivo Poppe (C background), is pictured during the jury constitution before the Assize Court of West Flanders province, in Brugge, on January 15, 2018.
/ AFP / BELGA / KURT DESPLENTER
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The admission by Ivo Poppe, 61, who has been dubbed the "Deacon of Death" by Belgian media, is the first time he has publicly given an estimate of the number of his victims.Most of the victims were elderly people suffering from physical or psychological ailments at a clinic in Menin, a town near the French border. He worked there in the 1980s and 1990s but continued to act as a pastoral visitor until 2011 after he was ordained as a deacon.Poppe faces life in prison if convicted by the court.Belgium legalized euthanasia for adults in 2002 – after the period when most of Poppe's alleged killings took place – although it has to be carried out under strictly controlled conditions.
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