Terrorist suspect Abdeslam can be extradited to France, Belgium rules

The Belgian judiciary on Thursday approved the extradition to France of Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested in Brussels for his suspected role in the November terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 130 people died.

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels on March 18, four days before a triple suicide bombing in the Belgian capital claimed the lives of 32 victims.

On March 19, France had issued a European arrest warrant for Abdeslam.

Earlier Thursday, Abdeslam's lawyer Cedric Moisse said his client wants to "collaborate with the French authorities" and hoped to be sent to France.

"The transfer is possible," the Belgian federal prosecution said in a statement following a meeting of judicial authorities. Since Abdeslam had agreed to be extradited, the matter did not have to be considered by the pre-trial chamber, it added.

"Belgian and French authorities will now consider jointly how to proceed further in the execution of the transfer," the statement said.

Moisse had said that the extradition could take place very quickly, but local media have reported that Belgian authorities also want to question Abdeslam about his possible involvement in the Brussels attacks.

Also on Thursday, prosecutors said that police had conducted a raid near the western Belgian city of Kortrijk in connection with the case of Reda Kriket, a man arrested in France on allegations that he was in the advanced stages of planning a new terrorist attack in Paris.

No further details were given.

Last update: Thu, 31/03/2016 - 18:48

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