Lawyer for Paris terror suspect says he's a "little jerk"

PARIS (AP) — The Belgian lawyer for Salah Abdeslam, the suspect in the Paris attacks who has been transferred to the French capital, has dismissed the man who was Europe's No.1 fugitive until his capture last month as having "the intelligence of an empty ashtray."

Sven Mary, in a profile published Wednesday by the French daily Liberation, said Abdeslam was a "little jerk among Molenbeek's little delinquents, more a follower than a leader."

Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan origin, grew up in the Molenbeek district of Brussels from where three teams launched the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris that killed 130 people.

Mary said Abdeslam had admitted that he had read an interpretation of the Muslim holy book on the internet — not the text itself.

Mary was quoted as saying: "He is the perfect example of the GTA (Grand Theft Auto) generation who thinks he lives in a video game."

France's Justice minister says Abdeslam will be held in an adapted prison in the Paris region with maximum security.

Jean-Jacques Urvoas says Abdeslam will be placed in the solitary confinement sector of the prison under guard of a dedicated team, following his presentation to a judge scheduled later Wednesday.

Urvoas, speaking in the Elysee courtyard following a Cabinet meeting, didn't identify which prison in which Abdeslam will be confined.

Abdeslam was handed over to French authorities Wednesday.

Abdeslam, arrested in Belgium last month after four months on the run, is wanted by the French for his role in the Nov. 13 attacks in the French capital that killed 130 victims.

A statement on Wednesday from the Belgium Federal Prosecutor's Office said Abdeslam was delivered to French authorities Wednesday morning under a March 19 European arrest warrant.

A French lawyer says he will defend key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam once he's transferred from Belgium to France, and described him as a young man "falling apart" and ready to cooperate.

Frank Berton told the iTele TV channel on Wednesday that Abdeslam — the only survivor in the Nov. 13 Paris bloodbath that killed 130 people — won't be transferred to France before mid-May.

Abdeslam, whose brother blew himself up in the attacks, is now in a Belgian prison and is charged with attempted murder over a March 15 shootout with police in Brussels. He was arrested three days later.

Belgian police have been questioning him about potential links to the three suicide bombers who attacked the Brussels Airport and subway on March 22, killing 32.

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