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Saturday 22 September 2018

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam absent as trial resumes

Abdeslam faces charges of attempted murder in a terrorist context over a March 2016 shootout with police in Brussels.

Belgian lawyers Sven Mary, right, and Romain Delcoigne, centre, attend the second day of the trial of Salah Abdeslam and Soufiane Ayari (Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)
Belgian lawyers Sven Mary, right, and Romain Delcoigne, centre, attend the second day of the trial of Salah Abdeslam and Soufiane Ayari (Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)

By Stephanie Gonzalez

The trial of the surviving suspect from the 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris has resumed – without the suspect in court.

Salah Abdeslam had informed the tribunal that he did not want to come to Thursday’s hearing in Brussels – the first since he was initially brought before the court on Monday.

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In this courtroom sketch, Salah Abdeslam, right, and Soufiane Ayari, left, at the Brussels Justice Palace on Monday (Petra Urban via AP)

He and another man, Sofiane Ayari, face charges of attempted murder in a terrorist context over a March 15 2016 shootout with police in the Belgian capital.

Abdeslam, who at the time was Europe’s most-wanted fugitive, escaped out of a window with Ayari.

A third Islamic State suspect died.

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Belgian lawyer Sven Mary, who is defending Salah Abdeslam, attends the second day of the trial (Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)

The pair were captured a few days later.

On March 22 2016, IS suicide bombers struck the Brussels metro and airport.

Prosecutors have asked for the maximum 20-year prison term.

Press Association

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