2016-03-20 18:30:00

Salah Abdeslam's lawyer challenges extradition and prosecution

(Vatican Radio)  The lawyer of the suspected mastermind behind last year's deadly terror attacks in Paris says he will take legal action against a French prosecutor for breaching the confidentiality of the investigation into the November 13 violence that killed 130 people and several terrorists.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report:

Lawyer Sven Mary's announcement came as France send more troops to its borders amid fears of more terror attacks in the country and other European nations.

Mary expressed outrage that French prosecutor Francois Molins expressed details about his client, who was detained in Brussels Friday.

Prosecutor Molins told reporters that Abdeslam abandoned his suicide vest the night of November 13 after he drove other attackers to Paris.

Speaking about the November 13 attacks, Prosecutor Molins said, "Salah Abdeslam has confirmed to Belgian investigators" during Saturday's interrogations "that he planned to be a suicide bomber at France's main stadium Stade de France. But he backed out when it was time to carry out the act."

Abdeslam's Belgian lawyer Mary condemned the comments and made clear he would take legal action. He said the prosecutor's remarks were "a violation, a fault", that he would "not let go unchallenged."

Arrest warrant

Mary also warned that his term would fight any attempt to extradite over his client from a high security jail in Belgium to France. "The European arrest warrant has been given, and we refuse to hand him over to France. And that's it," he told reporters.

French prosecutors still believe that one of Europe's most wanted men will eventually be send to France to stand trial over the Paris massacres that killed 130 people and for which the so-called Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

French authorities also said that more arrests can be expected. France is already sending more troops to its borders since the arrest of Abdeslam.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the additional forces would join more than 5,000 police mobilized since the attacks. The international police oranization Interpol had urged increased border security saying suspects may seek to flee after Abdeslam's arrest on Friday.

Abdeslam reportedly fled himself shortly after the November attacks, returning to the run-down Molenbeek district of Brussels.

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