Accessibility links

Belgium to Extradite Paris Terror Suspect to France

  • VOA News

A Belgian policeman leaves a court building with a vehicle believed to be transporting Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in last year's deadly Paris attacks, who appeared before a judge in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2016.

A Belgian policeman leaves a court building with a vehicle believed to be transporting Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in last year's deadly Paris attacks, who appeared before a judge in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2016.

Belgian prosecutors say the top suspect in the November terrorist attack on Paris can be extradited to France.

French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas said Thursday he expects Salah Abdeslam to be sent to Paris within 10 days.

Abdeslam's lawyer, Cedric Moisse, said his client agrees to be extradited.

"Abdeslam wants to make it known that he wants to cooperate with the French authorities. These are the words he wants to make known."

Another one of his lawyers said after his March 18 arrest that Abdeslam would fight extradition to France. It is unclear why he changed his mind.

Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)

Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)

Abdeslam is accused of helping plan the November 13 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people at multiple locations. He allegedly rented rooms for the suicide bombers and bought explosives.

A French prosecutor has said Abdeslam planned to blow himself up outside a football (soccer) stadium, but backed down.

After four months on the run, police found him in Brussels after uncovering evidence during a raid on another house that he was hiding out in the Belgian capital.

Investigators also say Abdeslam is linked to Khalid and Ibrahim el Bakraoui, the brothers who took part in last week's suicide bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people.

French soldiers patrol outside the Paris hall of Justice, March 30, 2016, while Frenchman Reda Kriket is being questioned by a magistrate who is expected to file preliminary terrorism charges.

French soldiers patrol outside the Paris hall of Justice, March 30, 2016, while Frenchman Reda Kriket is being questioned by a magistrate who is expected to file preliminary terrorism charges.

Meanwhile, prosecutors filed preliminary terror charges Wednesday against 34-year-old Frenchman Reda Kriket, calling the cache of explosives and arms found in his apartment during a raid an indication that an imminent act of “extreme violence” was in the works.

Kriket is suspected of having traveled to Syria in late 2014 or early 2105, and had already been convicted in absentia by authorities in Belgium this past July on terror charges.
VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG