- 24 Oct 23
A Paris judge has charged two men suspected of links with Abdesalem Lassoued after the attack in Brussels.
Two men have been charged on suspicion of links with the Islamist gunman who killed two Swedish football fans in Brussels this month by a Paris judge, according to French anti-terror prosecutors.
45-year-old Tunisian, Abdesalem Lassoued, shot the fans before a Belgium-Sweden international football match on October 16. He was also fatally shot in a police operation afterwards.
After receiving information on the case from the Belgian judiciary, French prosecutors opened a formal investigation into a suspected "criminal terrorist conspiracy."
Yesterday, the men were placed in detention as they were charged with forming a terrorist criminal group and complicity in murder linked to a terrorist plot.
The prosecutors said that the investigation into the two suspects, who live in the Paris region, "is continuing to determine their links" with Lassoued.
One of the suspects has lived in France for almost 20 years and denies the allegations.
His lawyer, Souleymen Rakrouki, said: "He has nothing to do with the attack."
He added that the attacker was "a friend he has known for a long time, he had not seen any sign of radicalisation. He could have never imagined such an act."
The suspects were among four people who were arrested last week in relation to the investigation into possible accomplices of Lassoued. Police have released the other two without charge.
Lassoued had escaped from a Tunisian prison where he was serving a long sentence. However, Belgian authorities failed to deal with an August 2022 extradition request made by Tunisian officials.
The shootings have sparked debate in Belgium over judicial and administrative errors in relation to following up on radicalised persons, particularly by the immigration services.
Documents showed that Lassoued had lodged asylum applications in Norway, Sweden, Italy and Belgium. He had stayed in Belgium illegally after his bid for asylum was rejected in 2020.
An order for his expulsion was carried out but never followed through.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 05 Dec 23