Brussels, April 23 (IANS) Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect from the 2015 Paris terror attacks, was jailed in Belgium on Monday for 20 years over a gunfight that led to his arrest.
Abdeslam, 28, and co-defendant Sofien Ayari were both convicted of terror-related charges of attempted murder, the BBC reported. Ayari, 24, was also given a 20-year sentence.
Abdeslam and Ayari were not in the Brussels court as the verdict was read out on Monday. Both received the maximum sentence as requested by prosecutors.
The judge said that “there can be no doubt” about the two men’s involvement with “radicalism”.
On March 15, 2016, Belgian police hunting Abdeslam carried out a raid in the Forest area of Brussels.
They targeted a flat believing that the suspect – who by then had been on the run for four months – had been there.
When they moved in they exchanged fire with the three occupants. One of the three was killed and three officers were wounded, reports the BBC.
Abdeslam and Ayari managed to escape, but Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found in the flat, confirming his presence there.
He was picked up days later in a raid in the nearby Molenbeek area and later transferred to France. Abdeslam had been on trial since February 8.