Paris, Brussels attacks suspects switch Belgian prisons

2016-04-19 08:21
A man lights a candle at a memorial outside the stock exchange in Brussels. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert, AP)

A man lights a candle at a memorial outside the stock exchange in Brussels. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert, AP)

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

Brussels - Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and alleged accomplice Mohamed Abrini, who is also charged over the Brussels attacks, were moved to different jails in Belgium on Monday, prison officials said.

Abdeslam, arrested in Brussels on March 18 following a four-month manhunt, "is now in Beveren in a high-security cell" after he was transferred from a prison in Bruges, prison services spokesperson Kathleen Van De Vijver told AFP.

Beveren is about 100km further east from Bruges in northern Belgium.

Abrini, arrested 10 days ago in Brussels in connection with both the Paris and Brussels attacks, was moved to "the high security section in Bruges" from a jail in the Forest district of Brussels, the spokesperson said.

Both transfers "are part of our dispersion plan," she said without elaborating.

Abrini, 31, has confessed to being "the man in the hat" caught on video with suicide bombers at Brussels airport on March 22. The airport attack and bombing an hour later at a metro station near EU headquarters killed 32 people.

Abrini was also linked to the November 13 Paris massacre after being caught on video at a motorway fuel station with Abdeslam, who is awaiting extradition from Belgium to France.

However, the Belgian authorities want to question Abdeslam about a shootout in Forest that led to his arrest days afterwards in the capital's troubled Molenbeek district.

Abrini, who grew up with Abdeslam in Molenbeek, was charged with "participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to commit terrorist murders".

Abdeslam has also been charged with "terrorist murder" and being part of a terrorist group in connection with the shooting spree and suicide bomb attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

Belgian investigators say the same cell carried out the attacks in both cities.

The Belgian parliament's commission of inquiry into the attacks said it will visit Maalbeek metro station and Brussels airport on Friday, one month to the day after the attacks in the Belgian capital.

The committee is tasked with shedding light on the Brussels attacks by the end of the year, as well as the impact on French-Belgian relations of the Paris carnage.

The committee is also to report on the Jewish Museum gun attack in Brussels which left four people dead in May 2014, a gunman's botched attack last August on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris via Brussels, as well as on the dismantling of a jihadist cell in the Belgian city of Verviers in January 2015.

Read more on:    belgium  |  france  |  paris under attack  |  brussels 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

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.