The leading suspect in the Paris terror attacks was being questioned for the first time in France today. Salah Abdeslam was brought under tight security to a courthouse in Paris where he could be interrogated by judges, The 26-year-old, thought to be the sole survivor of the terror cell which killed 130 in the French capital in November, was transferred from a high-security prison where he has been held since his extradition from Belgium. Investigators hope his testimony will shed new light on the Islamic State group’s strategies in Europe.
He could help if he collaborates, either to confirm elements of the investigation, or to give fresh leads. However, we should not hang on his every word and wait for any sensational revelations
Gérard Chemla, a lawyer for victims’ families
Abdeslam is thought to have played a key role in planning the Paris attacks and transporting the attackers. But, after deciding not to activate his own suicide vest, he fled to Belgium where he was captured in March. The Belgian-born Frenchman was placed under formal investigation on terrorism and murder charges in France on April 27 after his extradition. He promised to talk to judges about his own path to radicalisation during his next hearing, his French lawyer said at the time. Friday’s hearing, expected to last all day, was being held behind closed doors.
The first interviews are often about denials. We should maybe leave the process to unfold for a while
Jean Reinhart, lawyer representing some of the victims