Wednesday 28 September 2016

Belgian authorities hand two Paris attacks suspects to France

Published 06/07/2016 | 16:21

Belgian authorities handed over two men to France who allegedly helped the top suspect in the Paris attacks
Belgian authorities handed over two men to France who allegedly helped the top suspect in the Paris attacks

Belgian authorities have handed over two men to France who allegedly helped the top suspect in the November 13 Paris attacks, they said.

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The federal prosecutor's office identified the two as Mohammed A and Ali O and said they were transferred to France under a European arrest warrant.

The Paris prosecutor's office confirmed that the two were Mohammed Amri and Ali Oulkadi.

Amri is accused of going to Paris to pick up top suspect Salah Abdeslam after the attacks that killed 130 people.

Oulkadi, a 31-year-old French national, allegedly drove Abdeslam through Brussels the day after the attacks and dropped him off at a safe house used as a workshop for manufacturing explosive belts.

An official at the Paris prosecutor's office said the two were questioned by an investigating judge and handed preliminary charges of criminal terrorist association aiming to prepare crimes against others and receiving criminals linked to a terrorist enterprise. Both were jailed.

Belgium transferred a suspected accomplice of Amri, Hamza Attou, to France last week. Attou was given preliminary charges of "helping a terrorist criminal linked to a terrorist act", and was also jailed.

Attou is alleged to have been with Amri when he drove to Paris and brought Abdeslam back.

Attou and Amri were arrested shortly afterwards and charged in Belgium with "participating in terrorist activity".

Attou's Belgian lawyer said her client went on the trip just to keep the driver company.

According to internal French police documents, searches involving Amri and Attou netted shells of 5.56 and 7.62 mm calibre, fertiliser, two hard drives and a military-type backpack.

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels in March after four months on the run and was extradited to France.

AP

Press Association

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