Salah Abdeslam, 28, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for attempted murder over a shootout with Belgian police in 2016
Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving suspect of the 2015 Paris terror attack, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail over a shootout with Belgian police.
Abdeslam, 28, was found guilty of terror-related attempted murder on Monday for firing at Belgian officers during a raid in March 2016, four months after the Paris attacks.
Three officers were wounded in an exchange of gunfire on March 15, 2016, during which Abdeslam and accomplice Sofiane Ayari fled, before being caught in Brussels three days later.
Ayari, 24, who did not participate in the attack in Paris, was also found guilty of attempted murder on Monday.
Neither of the men were in court to hear the verdict.
Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national of Moroccan descent, is in French prison awaiting trial for his role in the Paris attack, which killed 130.
Saying ‘it’s a miracle no-one was killed,’ prosecutor Kathleen Grosjean called for each defendant to serve at least 13 years in a high security prison.
Abdeslam, a self-confessed jihadi with a French passport, had told a previous hearing: ‘I’m not afraid of you, I put my trust in Allah.’
He attended the first day of proceedings in February, but has refused to cooperate since then.
Neither Abdeslam nor accomplice Sofiane Ayari, 24, were in court on Monday to hear the verdict, and were instead represented by their legal teams
Today’s marks the first guilty verdict against Abdeslam since the Paris attack.
Among the nine terrorists involved was Abdeslam’s brother, Brahim Abdeslam, 31, who blew himself up inside a packed restaurant.
Salah wore a suicide belt to the Stade de France, but it was later found discarded in a dustbin after he failed to detonate it.
The brothers ran a bar in the Belgium capital, in the Molenbeek district where Salah Abdeslam was eventually found hiding on March 18th 2016.
He was then linked to another ISIS attack in Brussels four days later – on March 22nd 2016 – when a total of 32 people were killed in coordinated suicide attacks on the city’s airport and an underground train station.
It was legally permissible for Abdeslam and Ayari be tried in their absence, and they would be informed of the verdicts in prison, said a spokesman for Brussels prosecutors.
The trial, which began in February, concluded at the Brussels justice palace on Monday amid high security