"Abdeslam has the intelligence of an empty ashtray"

Sven Mary, the lawyer of Paris chief suspect Salah Abdeslam, has told the French daily Libération that his client is no more than a petty criminal from the Brussels borough of Molenbeek and that he possesses the intelligence of an empty ashtray.

Mary spoke with his client in Bruges and Beveren penitentiaries on a handful of occasions and comes to the following conclusion.

"Abdeslam is a follower rather than a leader. When I asked him if he had read the Koran he said he'd found a summary on the internet. For a simple soul that is perfect. A summary on the net is the absolute tops he can understand."

Abdeslam is co-operating in the investigation. Sven Mary says that he could be of capital importance for the investigation."

The lawyer concedes that he has thought of ditching his client as a result of verbal and psychical attacks: "Two men beat me up outside my office and the police have had to escort my daughters to school on several occasions."