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French suspect handed terror charges over Syria kidnapping

November 15, 2017

File - In this Thursday, June 12, 2014 file of an artist sketch, depicting Mehdi Nemmouche, right, as he stands next to a police officer during his court appearance at Versailles Court of Appeal, near Paris, France. The lawyer of a Frenchman accused of a deadly 2014 shooting at a Belgian Jewish Museum says his client has been handed preliminary terrorism charges in Paris relating to a separate case in Syria. (AP Photo/Benoit P., File)

PARIS (AP) — A Frenchman accused of a deadly 2014 shooting at a Brussels Jewish museum was handed preliminary terrorism charges in France Wednesday relating to a separate case in Syria, according to his lawyer.

Lawyer Francis Vuillemin said Mehdi Nemmouche was escorted under high security for “just a few hours” to Paris from Belgium, where he is currently being held, to face the French authorities.

The charges of “kidnapping and illegal sequestration with links to a terrorist enterprise” relate to allegations that Nemmouche, 32, was the jailer of four French journalists held in Syria between June 2013 and May 2014.

The lawyer said Nemmouche remained silent throughout.

Nemmouche is suspected of gunning down four people with an assault weapon in the Brussels museum in May 2014.

Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor’s office said that the lone surviving suspect in the massacres in France in November 2015, Salah Abdeslam, went before a French judge also on Wednesday in Paris.

Abdeslam, 28, remained silent during the hearing into the attacks that left 130 dead in Paris and its suburbs, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Abdeslam is currently in prison in France and unlikely to face trial there for several years.

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