Belgium to extradite Paris suspect Abdeslam to France

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2016 11:46 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian court decided on Thursday 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."

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

After his arrest on March 18, four months after the Nov. 13 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 March 22.

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

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Robert-Jan Bartunek, Editing by Alastair Macdonald)