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Salah Abdeslam found guilty in Brussels trial

April 23, 2018

Salah Abdeslam, the last remaining suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, has been found guilty of attempted terrorist murder in a separate trial in Brussels. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Salah Abdeslam Gerichtszeichnung
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Belga/I. Preys

Salah Abdeslam, the last remaining suspect in a string of Islamist attacks carried out in Paris in 2015 has been found guilty of terrorist-related attempted murder in a separate case in a Brussels court of attempted murder. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Co-defendant Sofien Ayari, a 24-year-old Tunisian national, was also sentenced to 20 years on the same charge.

The court said that there was "no doubt" that their "radicalism is deep-seated."

Abdeslam's and Ayari's lawyers
Abdeslam's and Ayari's lawyers in court on Monday. The two defendants did not attend.Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/S. Lecocq

Abdeslam's trial in Brussels revolved around a shootout with police during a terrorism raid in the Belgian capital on March 15, 2016, which led to his arrest three days later in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, a hotbed for Islamist terrorism.

It came just days before suicide bombers killed 32 people and wounded hundreds more at two separate attacks in Brussels on March 22 that year.

The 28-year-old French national, who was born in Belgium, is believed to have links to the Brussels perpetrators, but has not been named as a suspect in that case.

Separate trial in France

He is, however, to stand trial in France for his alleged involvement in the attacks in Paris, where 130 people were killed in six separate incidents on November 13, 2015 – one of the deadliest attacks on French soil since the end of World War II.

Abdeslam was extradited to France, where he is being held in custody in a Paris suburb. Neither he nor co-defendant Ayari attended the Brussels verdict on Monday. Abdeslam attended the first day of the trial, but refused to show up for the rest of the trial, claiming the court was biased against Muslims.

ng/kms (AFP, dpa)

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