The extradition of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been suspended but is not being called into question, France’s justice minister said on Friday.
Jean-Jacques Urvoas said in a statement the delay is due to “the requirements of the investigation in Belgium” about another case – a deadly police raid in the Forest neighborhood of Brussels days before Abdeslam’s arrest.
The French judges still have the possibility of requesting Abdeslam’s “temporary transfer” to France so that he can be questioned and charged, the statement specified.
Abdeslam fled to Belgium after the November 13 attacks on Paris and was arrested March 18 after four months on the run. Since then he has been in a prison in the Belgian city of Bruges.
He faces preliminary terrorism charges for the Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.
The Belgian procedure “does not in any way hamper the course of investigations in France”, Urvoas stressed.
Abdeslam’s lawyer, Sven Mary, said yesterday that it will take some weeks before his client can be extradited from Belgium to France. He said that the existing Belgian arrest warrant must be lifted first.
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