Paris Attacks Suspect Extradited to France From Belgium

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
A Belgian special forces police officer stands guard outside a courthouse as Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdelslam remains in police custody, in Brussels, Belgium, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman
A Belgian special forces police officer stands guard outside a courthouse as Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdelslam remains in police custody, in Brussels, Belgium, April 7. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

Salah Abdeslam, suspected of playing a major part in November’s Paris terror attacks which killed 130 people, has been extradited to France from Belgium, prosecutors in both countries said on Wednesday.

Abdeslam, 26, was Europe’s most wanted fugitive until his capture in Brussels on March 18 after a four-month manhunt. He is set to appear before French judges later on Wednesday.

“Salah Abdeslam has been handed over to the French authorities this morning,” Belgium’s federal prosecutors said in a statement, declining to give any further details.

Frank Berton, a high-profile French criminal lawyer, said he would lead Abdeslam’s defense and had visited his client for more than two hours last week in his prison cell in Belgium along with the Abdeslam’s Belgian lawyer Sven Mary.

Investigators have said Abdeslam told them he had arranged logistics for the Nov. 13 attacks and had planned to blow himself up at a stadium in Paris but backed out at the last minute.

He is suspected of having rented two cars used to transport the terrorists to and within the French capital.