Belgium court sentences suspect in Paris attacks to 20 years

Belgium court sentences suspect in Paris attacks to 20 years

A Belgian court on Monday sentenced Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, to 20 years in prison for attempted murder of three police officers during a 2016 shootout.

After the Paris attacks, Salah had fled to Brussels where he was later captured in a shootout. One of his accomplices was also sentenced to 20 years, the other killed.

He was also convicted of possessing firearms and fined 12,000 euros.

The 2015 Paris attacks were committed by three teams. Terrorists reportedly connected to the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST backgrounder] perpetrated attacks on six different targets in and around Paris. The attacks began with a suicide bombing at the Stade de France around 9:20 PM local time. Soon thereafter, individuals riding in a Seat brand car opened fire on individuals outside cafes around Paris. At around 9:40 PM, assailants fired on concert-goers at the Bataclan concert hall, killing 89. A UN rights expert commented that the attacks may amount to crimes against humanity [JURIST report].

In October, French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law [JURIST report] a counterterrorism law to replace a two-year old state of emergency established in the wake of the violent Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

Salah is expected to go on trial in Paris in 2020 for charges of murder and ties to a terrorist organization.