In the trial for the 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks that will start in September, convicted terrorist Salah Abdeslam will be defended by lawyer Delphine Paci instead of Olivia Ronen, who was his counsel for the Paris attacks trial.
Abdeslam and ten others are due to go on trial for their alleged involvement in the March 2016 bomb attacks in Brussels, which killed 32 people.
Paci accepted the role after the French lawyer who represented Abdeslam at the trial in Paris, Olivia Ronen, announced she would no longer act as his defence.
Paci is no stranger to the longstanding case, as she defended Hamza Attou, Abdeslam's getaway driver after the Paris attacks. Attou was sentenced to four years in prison, with two of those years as a suspended sentence.
Abdeslam's defence lawyer in Brussels will be joined by another colleague whom Paci hasn't revealed yet.
Paci takes over Ronen's role
Olivia Ronen decided to quit as Abdeslam's lawyer, although she had initially been involved in the first preparatory meetings for the trial in Brussels.
"It seems to me irreconcilable to start a legal fight on the merits of the case in Brussels when Abdeslam has finally given up defending himself in the Parisian procedure by not appealing the decision of 29 June 2022," Ronen told L'Avenir.
"Despite everything, I remain his lawyer for any other proceedings that may be initiated," she added.
Abdeslam was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Paris Criminal Court in June for his involvement in the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks. On 13 October, he is expected to appear before the Criminal Court in Brussels.