Belgium extends detention for two Paris attacks suspects: prosecutors

11th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian authorities on Friday extended the detention of two suspects linked to the deadly Paris attacks last month, federal prosecutors said.

A court in the Belgian capital Brussels ordered Ali Oulkadi and Abdeilah Chouaa, who were charged November 27 with having taken part in the activities of a terrorist group, to be held for one month after rejecting their appeals for release, the prosecutor's office said.

Oulkadi, a French national and 31-year-old father who lives in the troubled Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, admitted he drove fugitive suspect Salah Abdeslam around the Belgian capital the day after the November 13 attacks.

But he denied having taken a part in the massacre that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Chouaa was charged in connection with the Paris attacks following his arrest in Brussels on November 23.

The Belgian authorities say he is being held for having "taken part in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist assassinations."

Belgian state television RTBF said Chouaa knew the Abdeslam family but was particularly close to Mohamed Abrini, a 30-year-old Moroccan Belgian who is wanted in the case.

Abrini is suspected of having participated in scouting out the attack sites with Abdeslam.

Last month, Belgium issued an international arrest warrant for Abrini, who was filmed at a petrol station in Ressons, France, on the motorway to Paris, in a Renault Clio which was later used in the attacks.

RTBF said it was Chouaa who accompanied Abrini to Brussels airport in June while he was heading to Syria, and that he went to Paris three weeks later to collect him on his return.

In all, Belgium has charged and detained eight people suspected of having aided the perpetrators of the Paris attacks.

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© 2015 AFP

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