Friday 23 June 2017

Paris terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam 'refuses to speak' in French court

Police secure the street as a vehicle believed to transport Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam departs the courthouse after his first hearing before French judges in Paris, France, May 20, 2016
Police secure the street as a vehicle believed to transport Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam departs the courthouse after his first hearing before French judges in Paris, France, May 20, 2016
French police and Gendarmerie stand guard and block a street following the arrival of a convoy transporting a surviving member of the group that carried out Paris terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam to Paris courthouse for his first questioning by anti-terror judges in Paris, on May 20, 2016
Journallists surround Frank Berton, lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, outside the courthouse after the arrival of Paris attacks suspect at the main law court in Paris, France, May 20, 2016 for his first hearing before French judges
Journallists surround Frank Berton, lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, at the courthouse after the arrival of Paris attacks suspect at the main law court in Paris, France, May 20, 2016 for his first hearing before French judges
Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam Photo: Belgium Federal Police via AP

The leading suspect in November's Paris attacks has refused to talk to judges in France, bringing the hearing to a close, according to his lawyers.

Salah Abdeslam had been due to be questioned by investigating judges for the first time since his extradition from Belgium as authorities bid to shed light on the Islamic State group's strategies in Europe.

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam Photo: Belgium Federal Police via AP
Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam Photo: Belgium Federal Police via AP

Abdeslam, 26, was given a string of preliminary terrorism charges after his transfer from Belgium, where he was arrested after four months on the run.

He is the only suspect still alive believed to have played a direct role in the November 13 bloodshed at a rock concert, stadium and Parisian cafes, which killed 130 people. The other attackers died in suicide bombings or under police fire.

Read More: Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam faces questioning in France

Abdeslam's lawyer, Frank Berton, said his client had invoked his right to silence.

Abdeslam had said last month that he wanted to explain all, but Mr Berton told reporters his client was disturbed by the 24-hour video surveillance in his maximum-security cell.

Journallists surround Frank Berton, lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, outside the courthouse after the arrival of Paris attacks suspect at the main law court in Paris, France, May 20, 2016 for his first hearing before French judges
Journallists surround Frank Berton, lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, outside the courthouse after the arrival of Paris attacks suspect at the main law court in Paris, France, May 20, 2016 for his first hearing before French judges
Journallists surround Frank Berton, lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, at the courthouse after the arrival of Paris attacks suspect at the main law court in Paris, France, May 20, 2016 for his first hearing before French judges

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