162 people died in the attacks in Paris and Brussels, for which the terrorist Abdeslam was previously imprisoned in Belgium. Now he has been transferred to France. His lawyers see this as a violation of constitutional principles.
The terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who was convicted of the Islamist attacks in Paris and Brussels, will be imprisoned in France in the future. As the Belgian Attorney General's Office announced, the Islamist was taken from a prison in Brussels to the Belgian-French border in the morning. He was then received there by the French authorities.
He will serve his sentence in the Paris region, France's Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti said via X. In accordance with the decision of the French judiciary and the wishes of the victims' associations, he will serve his life sentence there.
Extradited to Belgium for trial
Abdeslam was sentenced to life imprisonment in France in 2022 for his role in the Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015. He was then extradited to Belgium to face trial over the Islamist terrorist attacks in Brussels in 2016. The now 34-year-old was also convicted there of terrorist murders, but the Belgian justice system decided not to impose an additional sentence.
In the series of attacks on the Stade de France sports stadium and several bars in Paris – including the Bataclan concert hall – 130 people were killed. 32 people died in the terrorist attacks at the airport in the Belgian capital and in a subway station.
The terrorist militia “Islamic State” claimed responsibility for both attacks. Abdeslam is the only surviving member of the terrorist squad that carried out the Paris attacks.
Terrorist criticized Conditions of detention in France
The Frenchman Abdeslam, who grew up in Belgium, had asked to be able to serve his sentence in Belgium, where part of his family lives. He had previously criticized prison conditions in France several times. However, a court rejected his request to remain in a Belgian prison. According to the judge responsible, it could not be sufficiently proven that his human rights were being violated in France – as alleged.
French prosecutors feared that detention in Belgium “could lighten his sentence.” The fact that he is serving his sentence in France does not mean “a significant impairment of his right to private and family life,” emphasized the public prosecutor's office in Paris. Abdeslam's lawyer Delphine Paci criticized the decision as a gross violation of constitutional principles.