Belgium asks France for temporary transfer of key terrorism suspect

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The Belgian authorities on Friday confirmed they had asked their French counterparts to allow the temporary transfer of a key terrorism suspect, Salah Abdeslam, to Belgium so that he could attend trial there.

Abdeslam is in custody and awaiting trial in France for his alleged involvement in the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015 that killed 130 people.

Abdeslam is believed to have joined his brother and others in targeting a football stadium, the Bataclan concert hall, restaurants and bars during the attacks in the French capital.

He is then thought to have fled to Belgian capital, Brussels, where he was in hiding until his arrest in March 2016, following a shoot-out with several police officers.

The suspect is also alleged to have opened fire on police as they attempted to search his apartment in the Brussels neighbourhood of Forest.

According to a statement by the Belgian public prosecutor’s office, Belgian authorities want Abdeslam “to be present at his trial,” scheduled from Dec. 18 to Dec.21.

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