Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam refuses questioning again - source

Investigators have yet to pin down Abdeslam’s (above) exact role in the Nov 13, 2015, Paris attacks.
Investigators have yet to pin down Abdeslam’s (above) exact role in the Nov 13, 2015, Paris attacks.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The sole surviving member of the militant team that attacked Paris in November 2015 has again refused to be questioned by an anti-terror judge, a source close to the case said on Wednesday (Aug 31).

Salah Abdeslam, 26, refused questioning a second time on July 7 when his lawyer Frank Berton sought unsuccessfully to get authorities to halt his client's round-the-clock surveillance in jail, the source told AFP.

Berton declined to comment when contacted by AFP on Wednesday.

Abdeslam refused to answer questions in his first interview with a French anti-terror judge on May 20.

After four months on the run, Abdeslam was arrested on March 18 in Molenbeek, a Brussels neighbourhood notorious for being a hotbed of Islamic extremism where he grew up.

He was transferred to France to face terror charges on April 27.

Investigators have yet to pin down Abdeslam's exact role in the Nov 13, 2015, attacks on Paris bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium in which 130 people were killed.

After dropping off three suicide bombers at the Stade de France stadium just outside Paris, Abdeslam abandoned his car in the Montmartre neighbourhood then headed for the rundown southern suburb of Chatillon.

An unexploded suicide belt contaminated with Abdeslam's DNA was found in the area 10 days after the attacks.

The militant is thought to have left for Brussels at dawn on Nov 14 by car with two Belgian accomplices who managed to get through several checkpoints along the way.

Prosecutors believe Abdeslam was in charge of logistics for the Paris attacks, which were planned in Brussels.