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Paris Attacks Suspect Salah Abdeslam Has 'The Intelligence Of An Empty Ashtray' His Lawyer Says

His knowledge of the Koran came from 'an interpretation on the Internet'

27/04/2016 13:28

Salah Abdeslam has the "intelligence of an empty ash tray", his Belgium lawyer has claimed, as the Paris attacks suspect is set to be extradited.

Abdeslam, who is suspected of playing a major part in the November 13 attacks that claimed 130 lives, is to be moved from France to Belgium, both countries said on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old was Europe’s most wanted fugitive until his capture in Brussels on March 18, following a four-month manhunt. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been described as having the 'intelligence of an empty ash tray'

Abdeslam's Belgium lawyer, Sven Mary, has since made disparaging comments about his client.

Mary told France's Liberation website that Abdeslam was a "perfect example" of the Grand Theft Auto generation - the violent video game where players commit crimes - saying Abdeslam "believes he is living in a video game".

He said Abdeslam was a "follower rather than a leader" and had the "intelligence of an empty ashtray, it is an abysmal emptiness."

Mary added said he had asked Abdeslam whether he has read the Koran and was told he had read "an interpretation on the internet". 

Abselslam's capture in March came four days before separate suicide bomb attacks by Islamist militants at Brussels international airport and on a metro train which killed 32 people.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Abdeslam's Belgium lawyer, Sven Mary said his client 'believes he is living in a video game'

Frank Berton, a high-profile French criminal lawyer, said he would lead Abdeslam’s defense and had visited his client for more than two hours last week in his prison cell in Belgium along with Mary.

Investigators say Abdeslam told them he had arranged logistics for the Paris attacks and had planned to blow himself up at a sports stadium there but backed out at the last minute.

He is also suspected of having rented two cars used to transport the attackers to, and around, the French capital.

“He told me naturally that he has things to say and he will say them. He wants to talk,” Reuters quoted Berton as saying. 

He added to BFM TV: “What counts and what matters for us as his lawyers is simply that he gets a fair trial, that he is sentenced for things he did and not things that he didn’t do.

"That’s vital because he is the sole survivor.”

Abdeslam’s elder brother Brahim, with whom he used to run a bar in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, was among the Paris suicide bombers, who blew themselves up at a cafe.

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