Brussels attacks trial: Abdeslam to stay in cell until verdict after 'punch in the face'

Brussels attacks trial: Abdeslam to stay in cell until verdict after 'punch in the face'
Accused Salah Abdeslam pictured during the first day of the trial of the 22 March 2016 terror attacks. Credit: Bekga/Benoit Doppagne

One of the accused in the trial of the 22 March 2016 terror attacks in Brussels, Salah Abdeslam, stated that he would remain in his cell until the verdict is passed following an earlier complaint in which he claimed he was punched in the face by a police officer.

At the request of the defence, the trial now starts with a daily check of whether those on trial had to undergo a strip search before being transferred to court, following the earlier controversy about such searches.

When it was his turn, Abdeslam replied that he has been pointing out that the police treat him badly when he is transferred "since the beginning of the trial" but that "unfortunately, he is not being heard." While he "would like to attend the trial, it is not possible in these circumstances. I will remain in jail until the verdict."

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On Wednesday, Abdeslam also indicated that a police officer had punched him in the face. While he was not visibly injured, Abdeslam and his lawyer indicated that he did have a wound on his lip, on the inside of his mouth.

He also complained of pain in his upper body. A medical officer came to assess his alleged injuries in the afternoon, but nothing is known about the conclusions for the time being. The report is submitted to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Brussels.

Together with Abdeslam, Mohamed Abrini and Sofien Ayari left the glass box. Osama Krayem, who has refused to cooperate since the start of the trial, also left the courtroom.


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