PARIS (AP) — A suspect in the November 2015 extremist attacks in Paris has been released and placed under judicial supervision in Belgium, French prosecutors said Tuesday.
The Paris prosecutors’ office said that Ali Oulkadi, a French national living in Belgium who allegedly helped the sole survivor of the group of assailants, Salah Abdeslam, escape on the day after the attacks, was released Monday.
Oulkadi must stay in Belgium, be home at set hours and regularly report to local police. He is banned from going to certain places, establishing contact with a list of individuals and possessing a weapon.
Oulkady’s lawyer Didier de Quevy told BFM television his client left Maubeuge jail, in northern France, on Monday afternoon.
He said his client is banned from getting in contact with Islamist circles and must get back to work and normal family life.
“I think he’s going to comply without difficulty because he’s a good guy, I am convinced he didn’t do anything”, de Quevy said.
Oulkadi allegedly drove Abdeslam through Brussels the day after the Paris attacks, which killed 130 people on Nov. 13, 2015. He allegedly dropped Abdeslam off at a safe house that also was used as a workshop for manufacturing explosive belts. Oulkadi was handed charges of criminal terrorist association.
De Quevy said Oulkadi was the best friend of Abdeslam’s brother, Brahim, who died in a suicide attack in the events in Paris.
He said Oulkadi agreed to drive Abdeslam through Brussels to one of his hiding places “in good faith” — without knowing he was linked to the attacks.
Jean Reinhart, a lawyer for victims of the Paris attacks, said he was glad Oulkadi was under “extremely strict judicial supervision” pending trial.
“This individual obviously drove Salah Abdeslam. Did he know that he (Abdeslam) just committed the attacks? … So far this is a question,” Reinhart said.
Oulkadi’s lawyer will request acquittal at his trial.
In a joint hearing in March, Abdeslam had agreed to answer questions about Oulkadi to help clear him.
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