Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam maintains silence

The main suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, refused to reply to questions from a French anti-terrorist judge for the fourth time on Tuesday (Nov 29).
The main suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, refused to reply to questions from a French anti-terrorist judge for the fourth time on Tuesday (Nov 29). PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The main suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, refused to reply to questions from a French anti-terrorist judge for the fourth time on Tuesday (Nov 29), a judiciary source said.

Abdeslam, 27, has remained tight-lipped since being transferred to France from Belgium in April following his arrest in a police raid in Brussels during which he was shot in the leg.

On Tuesday, he was taken in a police convoy from Fleury-Merogis prison outside Paris to the Palace of Justice in the centre of the city.

"He refused to reply to questions," the source said.

Abdeslam's two lawyers said last month they would no longer defend him given his refusal to answer questions about the Nov 13, 2015, attacks in which 130 people died at the hands of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants.

One of the lawyers, Frank Berton, said they were giving up because "we don't think that he will speak, and he will use the right to remain silent".

They believe he is remaining silent in protest at the round-the-clock CCTV surveillance of his prison cell, where he is being held in solitary confinement.

Abdeslam's exact role in the worst terror attack in French history remains unclear.

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

He drove the three suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France to the stadium and then roamed the city before fleeing to Belgium early the next day.

He told investigators in Belgium before his transfer that he had also wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France but had changed his mind.

His other former lawyer, Sven Mary, told a Dutch newspaper earlier this month that Abdeslam had become even more radicalised since his arrest, saying he had grown a beard and become a "true fundamentalist".