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Paris attack suspect refuses to stand at shootout trial

06 February 2018

"I put my trust in Allah and that's all, I have nothing else to add", he added.

Abdeslam has also been linked to an ISIS attack in Brussels four days later - on March 22, 2016 - when a total of 32 people were killed in coordinated suicide attacks on the city's airport and an underground train station, but no formal charges have been made against him.

Abdeslam is being tried at the Palais de Justice in Brussels, accused of "attempted murder in a terrorist context".

"I am not afraid of you, I am not afraid of your allies", said a defiant Abdeslam, who has grown long hair and a beard during his almost two years behind bars.

Abdeslam's refusal to cooperate with the court may prove a disappointment to survivors and families of the 130 people who died, hoping he might end more than two years of silence to provide some indication of how and why the attacks were organized.

"Muslims are judged and treated without pity, there is no presumption of innocence", said Abdeslam, who stared straight ahead for much of the hearing. The raid was a combined effort by French and Belgian police. Abdeslam's co-defendant in the trial is Sofien Ayari, 24, a Tunisian national who authorities say was with Abdeslam during the Brussels shooting. He and an accomplice, Sofiane Ayari, escaped from their hideout while a third jihadi opened fire on police.

The 28-year-old defied Belgian judges on the first day of his trial yesterday and said he put his "trust in Allah".

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Abdeslam's brother, Brahim, was among the attackers killed after detonating a suicide bomb outside a cafe. He complained of being exhausted and refused to stand, but his voice was firm as he spoke after a morning listening to his co-accused who admitted to being with Abdeslam during the March 15, 2016, shootout and to have fought with Islamic State in Syria.

The same cell is believed to have carried out both the Paris and Brussels attacks.

"I am accused, so I am here", he said.

Philippe Duperron, whose son was killed at the Bataclan music hall, said: "Not only did he say he is retreating into silence but he is clearly trying to provoke people by saying he believes only in his god".

The plans for transferring Abdeslam from Fleury-Merogis prison in the Parisian suburbs, and then back to a prison just across the border in northern France every night, were shrouded in secrecy.

He will be shuttled back-and-forth for his Brussels trial from France.

Paris attack suspect refuses to stand at shootout trial