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Lawyer of Paris Attacks Suspect in Court to Oppose Videos

  • Associated Press

FILE - French lawyer, Franck Berton, answering questions to the media at the Douai courthouse, northern France. Berton was going to court on Wednesday to try to halt the 24-hour video surveillance of his client.

FILE - French lawyer, Franck Berton, answering questions to the media at the Douai courthouse, northern France. Berton was going to court on Wednesday to try to halt the 24-hour video surveillance of his client.

The lawyer for the suspected sole survivor of the group that attacked Paris in November was going to court on Wednesday to try to halt the 24-hour video surveillance of his client.

It was unlikely Salah Abdeslam would attend the Versailles court hearing when his lawyer, Frank Berton, makes his case to have the state-ordered cameras removed.

The court has 48 hours after the urgent hearing to rule.

Abdeslam, 26, who was extradited from Belgium on April 27, invoked his right to silence at a May hearing before investigating magistrates. Berton said his client was disturbed by the constant surveillance, and called it illegal.

Glimpses of Abdeslam at Fleury-Merogis prison from footage published in a French newspaper after a recent visit by French lawmaker Thierry Solere fed anger over the surveillance.

Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas, who ordered the surveillance, said Wednesday ahead of the hearing that he would do "exactly what the court decides.'' But he added in the interview with BFM TV that if the court rules against the constant surveillance, "I will propose a law'' in parliament.

Berton has contended the video surveillance is a political measure "simply to reassure public opinion'' after the Nov. 13 attacks on a stadium, concert hall, bars and restaurants that killed 130.

French judicial officials had high hopes that Abdeslam would unlock secrets at their first encounter. His lawyer said after the May hearing that his client "can't bear'' being under surveillance and that prevented him from collaborating.

Abdeslam, a French citizen raised in Belgium, returning to Brussels the morning after the Paris attacks. He was captured March 18 at a hideout near his childhood home in Brussels' Molenbeek neighborhood. Four days later, suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the Brussels airport and metro, killing 32 people.

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