Investigators 'far from solving puzzle' of Paris attacks

2016-03-21 21:01
Belgium prosecutor Frederic van Leeuw speaks at a media conference in Brussels. (AP)

Belgium prosecutor Frederic van Leeuw speaks at a media conference in Brussels. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - Investigators are still "far from solving the puzzle" of the Paris attacks, Belgium's federal prosecutor says after talks with his French counterpart in the wake of the arrest of key suspect Salah Abdeslam.

"We have quite a puzzle and in the last few days several pieces have found their place. But I am still, and we are still, far from solving the puzzle," Frederic van Leeuw told a news conference.

"We hope to go as far as possible," he said.

Van Leeuw added that Abdeslam "was heard" by investigators following his capture in a police raid in Brussels on Friday "but then again he was not in good form as you can imagine because he was wounded."

Abdeslam, 26, was shot in the leg during Friday's dramatic raid.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that France expected Abdeslam's extradition over the November 13 gun and suicide bomb attacks in which 130 people were killed.

"There is a strong expectation from the French justice authorities and particularly from the families of the victims that Salah Abdeslam comes to explain himself," Molins said.

"It's up to Salah Abdeslam to decide - either he agrees and can be transferred rapidly, or he doesn't consent and it will be up to the Belgian authorities to decide whether there is any reason that could allow the refusal of his transfer."

He confirmed comments that he made on Saturday saying that a vehicle linked to Abdeslam was traced to the Netherlands "but that does not mean Salah Abdeslam was in the Netherlands".

Investigators have traced Abdeslam's travels in the months before the attacks to Germany, Austria and Hungary.

He fled to Brussels after the attacks, passing through three French police checks, but apart from three weeks when he was believed to be in a flat in the north of the capital, his whereabouts during the past four months are unknown.

"We don't have the full timeline for what Salah Abdeslam did between November 14 and his arrest," Van Leeuw said.

Molins said he was not worried by a threat by Abdeslam's lawyer to lodge a legal complaint against him for divulging the details of the first interrogation with the suspect to journalists on Saturday.

Read more on:    belgium  |  france  |  paris attacks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.