Paris suspect Abdeslam no longer opposes extradition to France: lawyer

Sven Mary, lawyer of key suspect in the Paris terror attacks Salah Abdeslam, arrives to the Council Chamber of Brussels on March 24, 2016, during investigations into the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.
Sven Mary, lawyer of key suspect in the Paris terror attacks Salah Abdeslam, arrives to the Council Chamber of Brussels on March 24, 2016, during investigations into the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam wants to be extradited to France “as soon as possible” to face charges following his arrest in Brussels, his lawyer said on Thursday. (March 24)

Asked if his client had prior knowledge about Tuesday’s suicide bombings at Brussels airport and on a metro train, lawyer Sven Mary said in English: “He didn’t know it.” Abdeslam has been held in a high security jail in Bruges, north-west of Brussels, since his arrest on Friday, just four days before this week’s attacks in the Belgian capital.

Europe’s most wanted man had been on the run for four months after the Nov 13 Paris suicide bomb and gun attacks, in which 130 people were killed.

He is believed to be the last survivor from the cell of 10 men who carried out the massacre.

His lawyer initially said he would oppose moves by France to obtain his extradition quickly.

But speaking outside the city law courts early Thursday, Ms Mary said Abdeslam had had a change of mind.

“Salah Abdeslam told me that he wishes to leave for France as soon as possible,” Ms Mary said. “I will ask the investigating magistrate not to oppose his departure.

“The most important part of the file is in France. His explanations have to go there.”