Paris attacks suspect refuses to answer questions – USA TODAY
Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam – Europe’s most wanted fugitive until his capture in Belgium last month – was transferred to France Wednesday where investigating judges will decide how to charge him, the French prosecutor’s office said. (April
PARIS – The last known survivor of the team that carried out last Novemberâs Paris attacks refused to talk during questioning Friday by anti-terror judges, and the session ended abruptly.
Salah Abdeslamâs lawyer, Frank Berton said his client invoked his right to silence.
Abdeslam, 26, had said last month he wanted to explain all. Berton told reporters that Abdeslam was disturbed by the 24-hour video surveillance in his maximum-security cell, and called the practice illegal.
âHe canât tolerate being watched on video 24 hours a day,â Berton said. âPsychologically that makes things difficult.â
Friday was the first time Abdeslam was questioned since his extradition from Belgium last month. At that point, Berton said his client wanted to talk to investigators and explain his path to radicalization. It was unclear why the suspect changed his mind.
Abdeslam, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, was handed a half-dozen preliminary terrorism charges after his transfer on April 27 from Belgium, where he was arrested after four months on the run.
He is the only suspect still alive believed to have played a direct role in the Nov. 13 bloodshed at a concert hall, stadium and Parisian cafes, which killed 130 people. The other attackers died in suicide bombings or under police fire.
Authorities and families of attack victims had hoped Abdeslamâs testimony will shed light on how IS plotted the attacks, solve mysteries that remain about what exactly happened Nov. 13, and identify others who might have been involved, or support networks still hiding in the shadows.
Abdeslamâs precise role in the attacks has never been clear. The Paris prosecutor has said he was equipped as a suicide bomber, but abandoned his plans and fled to Belgium, where he had grown up. Abdeslamâs older brother blew himself up at a cafe during the Paris attacks.
Abdeslam was captured March 18 at a hideout near his childhood home in Brusselsâ Molenbeek neighborhood. Four days later, suicide bombers detonated their explosives in the Brussels airport and metro, killing 32 people.