Abdeslam has been been held in a high security jail since his dramatic arrest at a Brussels flat on Friday, four days before suicide bombers struck a Brussels airport and metro in the most devastating attacks in Belgian history.
The 26-year-old, who before his capture was Europe’s most wanted man, had been on the run for four months after the November Paris attacks, which killed 130 people. He is believed to be the last survivor from the cell of 10 men who carried out the massacre.
The ongoing investigation suggests Abdeslam and a wider circle of suspected logistics operatives in the Paris attacks could have had links to the suspects in the Brussels attacks.
Abdeslam’s lawyer, Sven Mary, when asked if his client had prior knowledge about the Brussels suicide bombings, told journalists outside a Brussels court: “He didn’t know [about] it.”
Just after his arrest, Abdeslam had made clear through his lawyer that he would oppose moves by France to obtain his extradition quickly. But that stance has changed, and now he apparently wants to transfer to France to “explain himself”. His lawyer said: “Salah Abdeslam told me that he wishes to leave for France as soon as possible. I will ask the investigating magistrate not to oppose his departure.”
He won't fight extradition & we ask lawyer how Abdeslam reacted when heard about Brussels attacks pic.twitter.com/6vZju1WWZh
— Paraic O'Brien (@paraicobrien) March 24, 2016