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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Lawyers Pull Out From Defending Paris Attacker In Court

Lawyers for the main suspect in last year's Islamist attacks in Paris say they will no longer defend him.

Salah Abdeslam will use his right to remain silent, one of the lawyers, Frank Berton said.

"We said from the beginning... that if our client remained silent we would quit his defence," he said, alongside fellow lawyer Sven Mary.

The attacks in Paris last November on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the Stade de France killed 130 people.

The so-called Islamic State said it was behind them.

Salah Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels in March and has kept silent since his transfer to France in April.

He is being monitored 24 hours a day by video in his prison cell. Mr Berton said in May the suspect was "particularly disturbed" by the surveillance.

Abdeslam is thought to have played a key role in planning the Paris attacks and transporting the attackers, but investigators are yet to determine his specific role.

The lawyers informed Abdeslam they would no longer represent him on 6 October. At the moment, he does not want to be represented by anyone else.

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