A judge has denied a demand to halt 24-hour-a-day video surveillance of a key suspect in the Paris terror attacks. Salah Abdeslam's lawyer had argued surveillance violated privacy and emotionally disturbed his client.
The judge at a court in Versailles, outside of Paris, rejected the demand from the lawyer of Salah Abdeslam, who had argued the around-the-clock video surveillance violated privacy and psychologically disturbed his client.
"Salah Abdeslam is not in a position to declare that he is subject of a manifest and clearly illegal breach of respect for his privacy," the judge said in a statement.
The judge added that the potential dangers of the suspect seeking to escape or perhaps commit suicide "necessitates taking exceptional measures with a view to offsetting [these] risks."
Abdeslam was on the run for months following the November terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. He managed to escape from France to Belgium, his country of residence, where he hid out until being captured and later extradited to France.
He has been held in solitary confinement at a high-security prison under constant surveillance and refused to talk to investigators during his first hearing. Investigators suspect he played at least some logistical role in the terror cell. He faces terrorism and murder charges.
His lawyer, Frank Berton, said the cameras in the cell were a "serious and illegal attack on his private life."
"He's spending all his time talking about cameras. Cameras, cameras, cameras," Berton told journalists outside the hearing earlier this week. "It's an obsession for him."
The court ruling comes a day after a Tunisian resident of Nice drove a truck into revelers at Bastille Day celebrations, killing at least 84 people.
cw/msh (AFP, Reuters)