Paris attacks suspect extradited, to appear before French court today

  • Reuters, Paris
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2016 14:22 IST
Salah Abdeslam (C) is arrested by police and bundled into a police vehicle during a raid in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium. (AP Photo)

Salah Abdeslam, suspected of playing a major part in November’s Paris attacks which killed 130 people, will appear before French magistrates on Wednesday following his extradition from Belgium, prosecutors in both countries announced.

Abdeslam, 26, was Europe’s most wanted fugitive until his capture in Brussels on March 18 after a four-month manhunt.

The prosecutor will request that he be held in custody, according to a statement.

“Salah Abdeslam has been handed over to the French authorities this morning,” Belgium’s federal prosecutors said in a statement, declining to give any further details.

Read: 129 killed in Paris attacks, Hollande vows ‘merciless’ response

Frank Berton, a high-profile French criminal lawyer, said he would lead Abdeslam’s defence and had visited his client for more than two hours last week in his prison cell in Belgium along with the Abdeslam’s Belgian lawyer Sven Mary.

A file photo of French lawyer Franck Berton posing in a photo studio in Paris on February 3, 2015 in Paris. Abdeslaam’s defence will be led by Berton. (AFP Photo)

Investigators have said Abdeslam told them he had arranged logistics for the November 13 attacks and had planned to blow himself up at a sports stadium in Paris but backed out at the last minute.

Read: Brussels attack: Who is Salah Abdeslam?

He is suspected of having rented two cars used to transport the attackers to and within the French capital.

Read: Paris suspect Abdeslam charged over Brussels shootout: lawyer

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