The 33-year-old Algerian arrested Saturday in Athens and believed to be linked to jihadist cell dismantled last week in Belgium said today he “agreed” to be handed over to the Belgian authorities, according to Greek judicial source. When he appeared before the prosecutor of the Athens Court of Appeal , which was looking at an extradition request for “belonging to a terrorist organization”, the suspect said he wanted to “prove his innocence” in the case. The final decision will be made by a judge by Wednesday.
The Belgian federal prosecutor could not be reached to confirm the information.
Thirteen people were arrested during searches conducted on Thursday in Verviers, Brussels, Molenbeek and Berchem-Sainte-Agathe. During one of the two searches in Verviers, two suspects opened fire on officers before being shot.
Marouane E., the third man at the scene of the search, jumped from the window “to avoid the shooting”, according to his lawyers. However, he was placed under arrest, along with two other suspects. Two people were released conditionally.
The eight others arrested Thursday were interrogated by the police, but they did not appear before a judge and no charges were made.
Meanwhile, a strong police and military presence is still very visible in many parts of the country. This is not pleasing everyone, especially lawyers and judges, who are demanding an urgent parliamentary debate.
Photo: EPP flickr