Lawyer: Paris attack suspect Abdeslam to be extradited in weeks

Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested in Brussels for his suspected role in the November terrorist attacks in Paris, will be extradited to France in the coming weeks, his lawyer said Thursday according to Belgian media.

On November 13, attacks on a football stadium, concert hall, restaurants and bars in the French capital left 130 people dead.

According to French prosecutors, Abdeslam had intended to blow himself up at the Stade de France stadium that day, but then backed out.

He was arrested in Brussels during a police operation on March 19, four days before a triple suicide bombing in the Belgian capital claimed 32 lives.

Last week, the Belgian authorities agreed to a French request for Abdeslam's extradition. This will take place in the coming weeks, his lawyer Sven Mary said Thursday, according to the Belga news agency.

Abdeslam is to be heard in relation to a March 15 raid in the Brussels neighbourhood of Forest during which police were fired at, Mary said. One suspect died and four officers were injured after police sought to search an apartment linked to the Paris attacks.

Abdeslam will not be charged or interrogated in relation to the Brussels terrorist attacks, his lawyer said according to Belga.

A Belgian court extended Abdeslam's arrest warrant on Thursday. It was meeting to consider whether or not to prolong the detention of several terrorism suspects, including Mohamed Bakkali, a man seized in Brussels in November in relation to the Paris attacks, Belga wrote.

Bakkali's lawyer Sebastien Courtoy said his client was innocent, arguing that this was evidenced by the will left on a computer by Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the Brussels suicide bombers. Courtoy asked for the will to be used as evidence in his client's case.

Belgian media have reported that El Bakraoui's will says Bakkali and other suspects are innocent, as they had no way of knowing what kind of a project they were being asked to contribute to.

"In addition, no trace of his DNA was found in the apartments searched," Courtoy said, according to Belga.

Last update: Thu, 07/04/2016 - 15:00
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