Suspected Paris Terrorist to Face Trial in Belgium

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
A Special Forces police officer stands guard as a police convoy and ambulance carrying captured fugitive Salah Abdeslam arrives at the federal penitentiary in Bruges, Belgium, on March 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Geoffroy Van der Hasselt)

Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the 2015 Islamist terror attacks in Paris who is currently jailed in France, will face trial in Belgium over a police shootout at his suspected hideout in Brussels, Belgian prosecutors said on Thursday.

Abdeslam left Paris hours after his brother blew himself up outside a cafe in November as part of a terror attack which killed 130 victims.

As investigators hunted for Abdeslam in the weeks after the Paris attacks, several Belgian police officers were wounded in a shootout during a raid on a Brussels apartment where he was thought to be hiding out.

Prosecutors say Abdeslam was one of two people who managed to escape from the shooting in the Brussels district of Forest and will stand trial for the attempted murder of several police officers.

A date for his Belgian trial is not yet set, prosecutors added, and it is unlear whether Abdeslam, who is also awaiting trial in France, will be present at the proceedings.

Abdeslam has refused to speak about the attacks to investigators in France and does not have legal representation in Belgium.