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France

Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam refuses to answer questions at trial

media A court artist drawing shows Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspects in the 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris, in court during his trial in Brussels, Belgium, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Capelle

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam told a Belgian court on the first day of his trial over a shootout with police Monday that he was not scared and put his "trust in Allah".

Abdeslam made the outburst as he told judges at the court in Brussels that he would refuse to answer any questions about the gunfight that led to his capture in 2016.

"Judge me, do what you want with me, it's in my Lord that I place my trust," said Abdeslam, who has grown long hair and a beard while in jail in France.

"I am not afraid of you, I am not afraid of your allies. I put my trust in Allah and that's all, I have nothing else to add," Abdeslam told the court.

The 28-year-old Belgian-born French national also explained why he was refusing to cooperate with the court despite having asked to attend the trial.

"My silence does not make me a criminal, it's my defence," Abdeslam said.

Abdeslam urged the judges to consider "scientific and tangible proof" while deciding on his case, saying that otherwise they would "give up their function to the media".

"Muslims are judged and treated in the worst of ways, mercilessly. There is no presumption of innocence," he added.

"I declare that there is no god but Allah, Mohammed is his his servant and his messenger."

 
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