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Trial in Belgium of Paris attacks suspect postponed

A closely-watched trial in Belgium involving the only surviving suspect in the 2015 attacks in Paris has been postponed until February to give a newly appointed lawyer time to prepare.

Salah Abdeslam's trial in Brussels was set to begin on Monday but the defence requested a delay.

Lawyer Sven Mary told reporters at the courthouse that the new starting date for the trial is February 5.

Belgian authorities accuse Abdeslam of attempted murder for a shooting in 2016 in Brussels, four months after he fled the scene of the Paris attacks in November 2015.

Abdeslam, currently in a French prison, is also expected to face trial in France in the coming years for the Paris attacks, which killed 130 people and were claimed by the Islamic State group.

AP

Maryse Alie, a lawyer for police officers involved in the Brussels shooting, said she hopes Abdeslam will use the court appearance to speak for the first time.

"He (Abdeslam) never spoke until now so we hope that, as he expressed a wish to come here, he will be able to talk and to explain certain things," she said.

AP

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