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Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam still silent in new court appearance

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By Alasdair Sandford  with AFP, Reuters
Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam still silent in new court appearance

One of the suspects in the Paris terror attacks last November has again refused to speak when he appeared before a judge for the third time.

Salah Abdeslam was driven under tight security at dawn from his cell in a jail south of Paris to the Palais de Justice.

He was accompanied by his French and Belgian lawyers.

“He used the right to silence, he invoked his right to silence during questioning that lasted about an hour and a half so he wanted to remain silent for the third time regarding questions that were posed by the judge. There you are. We don’t have much else to tell you at the moment other than the judge is pursuing the pre-trial procedure, pursuing his questioning whether he answers or not, at the moment he doesn’t wish to talk,” said Abdeslam’s French lawyer, Frank Berton.

Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national of Moroccan descent, also failed to speak when he previously appeared before a judge in May. During his first appearance on April 27 he said he did want to talk at a later stage.

He is believed to be angry at round-the-clock camera surveillance in prison, which his lawyers have failed to get halted.

The 26-year-old was transferred to France in April from Belgium following his arrest the previous month in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek – and charged with several terrorist offences.

Investigators have been trying to establish Abdeslam’s exact role in last November’s attacks on Parisian bars, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue in which 130 people were killed and hundreds more injured.