BRUSSELS, Belgium — 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.
In its judgment, the court in the Belgian capital said “there can be no doubt” about jihadist Abdeslam and his co-defendant Sofiane Ayari’s involvement in extremism.
Abdeslam, 28, a Belgian-born French national, was transported to the court from France for the first day of the trial amid tight security including a helicopter escort, while Tunisian national Ayari, 24, is in jail in Belgium.
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.
He then refused to attend the rest of the proceedings.
Three police officers were wounded in the gun battle after police acting on a tip-off over the Paris attacks raided a flat in the Forest area of Brussels on March 15, 2016.
Abdeslam was arrested three days later in the largely immigrant Molenbeek area of the Belgian capital, near his family home.
The Belgian trial is a prelude to a bigger one that Abdeslam will face in France at a later date over the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks, claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, in which 130 people were killed.
Abdeslam’s brother Brahim was one of the suicide bombers.