Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam gets 20 years in Belgium for attempted murder

EPA-EFE/FREDERIC SIERAKOWOSKI

Lawyer Sven Mary, representing Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, on the last day of the trial in Brussels.

Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam gets 20 years in Belgium for attempted murder


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The only surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in a 2016 gunfight with police in Brussels.

A Brussels court has found Salah Abdeslam, together with Sofiane Ayari, also known as Amine Choukri, guilty of attempted terrorist murder of police during a shootout with police in Brussels in March 2016.

Neither Abdeslam nor co-accused Sofien Ayari, were in court to hear the ruling on Monday.

The two defendants were found guilty of attempted murder over a shootout at the Rue du Dries with Brussels police in March 2016 before they were arrested following the 2015 November terror attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed.

Four police officers were wounded in the gun battle after police acting on a tip-off over the Paris attacks raided a flat in the Forest area of Brussels on 15 March 2016.

Prosecutor Kathleen Grosjean said how police “walked into a warzone” at the time of the incident, saying it was “a miracle no-one was killed”.

Abdeslam, a 28-year-old Belgium-born French national of Moroccan ancestry, was captured three days later in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels along with Ayari.

His arrest on March 18, 2016, was the culmination of a four-month manhunt after his participation in the Islamic State 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 were killed.

Abdeslam is in prison awaiting trial in France for his role in the attacks. The Belgian trial is a prelude to a bigger one that Abdeslam will face in France at a later date over the Paris attacks of 13 November, 2015, which were claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

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