Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam guilty of attempted murder in Belgium

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

A Belgian court on Monday found Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving suspect in the Paris attacks, guilty of terrorism-related attempted murder over a shootout with police in Brussels days before his capture in 2016, and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.

The court, reading its verdict in the men's attempted murder case, added that the danger emanating from Salah Abdeslam "remains intact", It said that in the case it is considering, the "terror character of their action was established".

After an intense four-month manhunt across Europe and beyond, police on Friday captured Salah Abdeslam, the top fugitive in the Paris attacks in the same Brussels neighborhood where he grew up.

Abdeslam is in a French prison awaiting trial over claims about his role in the Islamic State attack in Paris over two years ago.

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

On the first day of the trial, Abdeslam proclaimed that he would only put his "trust in Allah" and accused the court of being biased against Muslims.

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Three days later, Abdeslam and the accomplice were caught in Brussels. 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.

The prosecution has demanded 20-year prison sentences, with a verdict expected on Monday morning.

An organisation representing victims of the Brussels attacks and their families has asked for symbolic damages of one euro from the trial.

His lawyers do not dispute Abdeslam was in Paris during the attacks.

Abdeslam's brother Brahim was one of the suicide bombers.

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