Hollande: France to request Abdeslam extradition | News | DW | 18.03.2016
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Hollande: France to request Abdeslam extradition

The Paris prosecutor has initiated the process to request the terror suspect's extradition to France, Hollande said. The French president warned of "extensive networks" across Europe, saying more arrests were likely.

French President Francois Hollande said French national Salah Abdeslam, known for his alleged involvement in the "Islamic State"-claimed attacks in Paris, will be "interrogated and judged in France."

"I have full confidence in the success of this extradition process. Abdeslam will be interrogated and judged in France," Hollande said at a press conference following the terror suspect's arrest. He said the Paris prosecutor has made preparations for the extradition request.

Belgian federal prosecutors said Abdeslam was arrested with four other people, three of whom were apprehended for providing shelter to the terror suspect. They added that weapons and ammunition were discovered during the operations.

The prosecutors confirmed that Abdeslam was taken to a hospital in Brussels after receiving a gunshot wound.

Authorities believe Abdeslam was one of the drivers who transported the assailants to Paris to conduct the attacks, which left at least 150 people dead.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the operation was a success against terrorism.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the operation was "a success against terrorism."

'Extensive networks'

Meanwhile, Hollande said investigations were ongoing, adding that more arrests were expected in the future.

"What we need to do is arrest all those who organized and facilitated these attacks … There are far more numerous people that we have identified, and it is that work that we need to deal with," Hollande said.

"We are dealing with extensive networks in several countries," Hollande said.

Since November, French police have conducted more than 2,500 raids under controversial state of emergency powers, which have been criticized by human rights groups.

"France has a responsibility to ensure public safety and try to prevent further attacks, but the police have used their new emergency powers in abusive, discriminatory and unjustified ways," said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

According to HRW, only four legal procedures have been launched in connection to the thousands of raids across the country.

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