Salah Abdeslam extradition to France gets go-ahead

A court has ruled that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam can be extradited to France, said Belgium’s federal prosecutors.

A lawyer for Abdeslam said earlier yesterday that Abdeslam had dropped his initial objection to being extradited and had also renewed an offer to co-operate with the French authorities.

“Salah Abdeslam wishes to be transferred to the French authorities,” Cedric Moisse told reporters. “He wishes to co-operate with the French authorities.”

Prosecutors said France and Belgium would now discuss how to proceed with the transfer. After his arrest on March 18, four months after the November 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people, Abdeslam answered some investigators’ questions but then exercised his right to silence following the suicide bombings in Brussels on March 22.

Investigators believe the attacks in Paris and Brussels were carried out by militants from the same Islamic State network.

Meanwhile, Brussels Airport authorities have said they are ready to resume flights from the bomb- damaged facility soon, but not before the weekend.

Belgium’s civil aviation authority and the fire department have given their approvals to a reopening after testing on Tuesday, one week after the suicide bombings. Operating company, Brussels Airport said in a statement that the airport is “technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in”.

Flights will resume once political approval is granted, but not before this evening. Due to the damage, the airport will be able to run at only 20% of normal capacity.

The area where arriving passengers transit was only slightly damaged and is ready. The move comes after police at the airport said they had criticised the lack of security at Belgium’s main transport hub well ahead of the attacks on March 22.


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