Terror suspect Salah Abdeslam reportedly plans to take legal action against a French prosecutor for allegedly breaching the confidentiality of the investigation into the deadly November 13 attacks in Paris.
Salah Abdeslam's lawyer Sven Mary said that the French prosecutor should not have divulged details from the investigation
Salah Abdeslam's Belgian lawyer Sven Mary told Belgian public broadcaster RTBF that part of a press conference given by Paris prosecutor Francois Molins on March 19 was "a violation."
"It's a fault, and I cannot let it go unchallenged," he said. Mary said that the French prosecutor had no right to disclose the information obtained during questioning, according to the report on RTBF.
However, an official in the Paris prosecutor's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that French law allowed prosecutors to speak about certain aspects of an investigation.
Prosecutor Molins had announced that 26-year-old Abdeslam told Belgian officials he had "wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France" during the French-German football game played on the night of the attacks. Molins added that he decided to back out at the last minute.
Abdeslam is thought to have disclosed these details about his plans to Belgian investigators after his arrest.
A potential key witness
France is seeking Abdeslam's extradition for trial there due to his links to the November 13 attacks, but Mary said he would fight any attempt to hand over his client. Mary added that investigators still had much information to gain from the suspect, who was born in Belgium but has French and Moroccan dual nationality.
"Salah is of great importance to this investigation. I would even say that he is worth gold. He is cooperating, he is communicating, he is not insisting on his right to silence. I think it would be worthwhile now to give things a bit of time for investigators to be able to talk to him," Mary said.
Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens indicated that the particular kind of extradition procedure being used would limit the possibilities for Abdeslam to appeal.
"It could take two months, two and a half months, and we will not be certain of the result before then," Geens said on RTL television.
Abdeslam is due in court in Brussels, at which point the next step in the proceedings might be revealed.
Abdeslam was shot in the leg during the anti-terror raid on March 18 when he was captured in Brussels. He was found at an apartment 500 meters (one third of a mile) away from his parents' home in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, where he grew up.
ss/jm (AP, dpa)