France agrees to temporary transfer of Abdeslam for trial in Brussels

A French court has agreed to transfer Salah Abdeslam to Belgium. He is the only survivor of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and will be tried in December in Brussels in another case, AFP reported yesterday.

The Paris court of appeal has “endorsed the principle of the temporary transfer” of Abdeslam, currently incarcerated under harsh conditions in the prison of Fleury-Merogis, a suburb of Paris.

This decision allows the execution of the European Arrest Warrant issued on 19 October by a Brussels court, which requested the extradition of Salah Abdeslam for his first appearance in court since the Paris attacks in November 2015 which left 130 dead.

The GIGN, an elite unit of the French gendarmerie, and the Belgian police will share the task of the transfer of Abdeslam, under high security arrangements, from a French prison to Brussels.

While discussions continue between Paris and Brussels on the precise terms of the transfer, an agreement seems to be emerging for a temporary incarceration of Abdeslam during the time of the trial in a prison in the north of France.

At the heart of the Belgian trial, to be held from 18 to 22 December, is the shoot-out with police which occurred in Brussels on 15 March 2016 in a hideout that housed Salah Abdeslam, three days before his arrest in the Belgian capital and four months after his escape from Paris.

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