Paris attack suspect guilty of attempted murder following shootout in Brussels suburb

Army soldier patrols outside the Brussels justice palace during the trial of Salah Abdeslam and Soufiane Ayari in Brussels Monday

Prosecutors asked at the trial in February for Abdeslam to be jailed for up to 20 years if found guilty on charges of terrorist-related attempted murder and possession of banned weapons.

He is, however, to stand trial in France for his alleged involvement in the attacks in Paris, where 130 people were killed in six separate incidents on November 13, 2015 - one of the deadliest attacks on French soil since the end of World War II. He is being held in a prison in northern France.

During the trial in Brussels, Mr Abdeslam refused to answer any questions from the judge and eventually stopped attending the hearings. The judge was continuing to read the verdict.

Despite the absence of both accused, security was tight around the Brussels court, with heavily armed police on guard.

Abdelsam was also involved in a shootout with the Brussels police in 2016 following which he was arrested by the police.

The prime suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court.

Police patrol outside the Brussels justice palace during the trial of Saleh Abdeslam and Soufiane Ayari in Brussels, Monday, April 23, 2018.

Salah Abdeslam was involved in a shootout with police in Brussels in March 2016.

They finally stumbled across him when, with French officers, they went to inspect a suspect apartment in Forest and then came under a hail of gunfire which wounded four of them.

Europe's most wanted fugitive Salah Abdeslam was arrested after raid in Brussels on Friday. Officials believe Abdeslam had links with the bombers and that they brought forward their attack because they feared Abdeslam might reveal their plans under interrogation.

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