Paris terror suspect on trial in Brussels

EPA-EFE/DANNY GYS / POOL

Prime suspect in the November 2015 Paris attacks Salah Abdeslam (C) sits beside his alleged accomplice Sofiane Ayari (C-R, standing) as they are surrounded by Belgian special police officers prior to the opening of their trial in Brussels, Belgium, 05 February 2018. Terrorist suspects Salah Abdeslam and Sofiane Ayari are on trial for attempted murder of police searching for suspects of the November 2015 Paris terror attacks that left 130 people dead, when Abdeslam was on the run and hiding in the Belgian capital. Abdeslam allegedly escaped a shootout with Belgian police in March 2016 during which he wounded four officers but was captured and arrested some days later in downtown Brussels. The trial in Belgium only deals with the shootout prior to the arrest. His role in the Paris terrorist attacks will be tried in a court in France at a later stage.

Salah Abdelslam is on trial in Belgium for the gun fight with police that lead to his arrest.


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Salah Abdeslam is on trial in Brussels this week for charges unrelated to the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

Abdeslam and his co-conspirator, Sofian Ayari, shot and wounded Belgian and French police officers. The men are accused of possessing illegal firearms, committing acts of terrorism, and the attempted murder of police officers. They could face up to 40 years in prison if they are found guilty.

Abdeslam has refused to speak with police since his arrest in 2016. He has also refused to have photos or videos taken of him during his trial, according to the judge in the case, Marie-France Keutgen.

The trial is being held at the Palais de Justice in central Brussels under high security. More than 200 police officers are on alert outside the courthouse.

Another trial will be held in France regarding Adbeslam’s involvement in the Paris attacks, with hearings to begin sometime in late 2019, according to sources close to the case. Adbeslam was the only attacker to escape Paris but was caught in Brussels four months after the attacks.

Adbeslam was part of a team that carried out coordinated terrorist attacks at several locations around Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 people and wounding nearly 500 others.

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