Belgium to extradite Paris suspect Abdeslam to France

Suspect Salah Abdeslam. [Twitter]

A Belgian court decided on Thursday (31 March) that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam could be extradited to France, Belgium’s federal prosecutors said.

A lawyer for Abdeslam said earlier on Thursday that Abdeslam had dropped his initial objection to being extradited and had also renewed an offer to cooperate with the French authorities.

“Salah Abdeslam wishes to be transferred to the French authorities,” Cedric Moisse told reporters. “He wishes to cooperate with the French authorities.”

Questions raised over Belgium's handling of terrorism case

Belgium yesterday freed the sole suspect charged over last week’s Islamic State attacks in Brussels that left 35 dead on Monday (28 March), raising fresh questions about the handling of the case by beleaguered Belgian authorities.

Prosecutors said France and Belgium would now discuss on how to proceed with the transfer.

After his arrest on 18 March, four months after the 13 November Paris attacks that killed 130 people, Abdeslam answered some investigators’ questions but then exercised his right to silence following the suicide bombings in Brussels on 22 March.

Investigators believe the attacks in Paris and Brussels were carried out by militants from the same Islamic State network.

Juncker after Brussels terror attacks: ‘We need a Security Union’

“We feel we need a Capital Market Union, Energy Union, Economic and Monetary Union but we also think we need security union”, stressed Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday (23 March), after terrorist attacks killed 31 and left over 200 injured on Tuesday (22 March) in Brussels.

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