Thursday 29 September 2016

Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam invokes silence for third time with judge

Published 08/09/2016 | 09:41

Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam (Police Nationale/PA)
Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam (Police Nationale/PA)

The only surviving suspect in last November's attack on Paris has refused to speak to a judge for a third time, in frustration at 24-hour video surveillance of his prison cell.

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Salah Abdeslam's lawyer, Frank Berton, said the judge repeatedly asked questions to no avail on Thursday.

Mr Berton said Abdeslam was not obligated to explain his silence but "obviously" it is linked to the constant surveillance.

Authorities hope Abdeslam can provide information about the strategies and networks of the Islamic State group which claimed responsibility for the attacks, and identify others who might have had a connection to the events of November 13, which killed 130 people.

AP

The same network that attacked the Bataclan concert hall, cafes and the national stadium in Paris struck again in Abdeslam's hometown of Brussels in March, days after he was tracked down and arrested.

His Brussels lawyer was present at Thursday's hearing in Paris.

Abdeslam kept silent at a hearing in May, and refused to attend a hearing in July.

Mr Berton argued that two round-the-clock video cameras in Abdeslam's cell in Fleury-Merogis prison could cause psychological damage, but France's top administrative authority struck down the lawyer's request to remove them.

Abdeslam evaded police for four months, but was arrested in March in the Brussels neighbourhood where he grew up. He was later extradited to France and handed several preliminary terrorism charges.

AP

Press Association

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