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Paris attacks suspect declines to reappear at Brussels trial

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

(reuters_tickers)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The main surviving suspect of the November 2015 attacks in Paris, Salah Abdeslam, has decided not to attend the second day of his trial in Brussels on Thursday, the Belgian court said.

Abdeslam, who is charged with the attempted murder of police in a shoot-out with officers in Brussels three days before he was arrested in March 2016, refused to answer questions on the first day of the trial on Monday.

Abdeslam travelled to the court from a prison close to Paris on Monday - but told the hearing he was tired and had barely slept.

He was taken to another French prison close to the Belgian border on Monday night. The court's president said Abdeslam had now decided he did not wish to appear again on Thursday.

Police said Abdeslam fled Paris on the night in November 2015 when attackers including his elder brother killed 130 people.

Police conducted what they thought would be a routine search related to the Paris attacks at an apartment in the Brussels district of Forest in March 2016. Four officers were hurt and one gunman killed. His co-accused, Sofien Ayari, told the court on Monday that both he and Abdeslam were in the apartment at the time and fled the scene.

(By Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Andrew Heavens)

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