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Salah Abdeslam gets life-long prison sentence without possibility of early release at Paris terrorist trial

Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the group that carried out the 2015 terrorist massacre at the Bataclan theatre and other sites in Paris, has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of an early release. 

Abdeslam, a Belgian Frenchman with Moroccan roots (32), was given the most severe sentence possible in France, and a very rare one. He was found guilty of murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist organisation. 

A defiant Abdeslam had said at the start of the 10-month trial that he was a "soldier" of Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks. At the end of the trial, in a change of mood, Abdeslam - who grew up in Molenbeek - had said that he regretted his acts. 

Abdeslam had taken off his explosives vest, but judges said this was because it did not function  

He apologised to victims, arguing that he did not blow himself up as he could not do it when he saw the people having fun on a night out. However, the court found that his explosives vest did not function properly, dismissing his argument that he ditched the vest because he did not want to carry out the attack.

The 2015 Paris attacks killed 130 people and left several hundreds injured. The attacks took place at the Stade de France sports venue, several cafés and restaurants and the concert hall the Bataclan. A total of 20 suspects stood trial in Paris. They were all found guilty. 18 were handed various terrorism-related convictions. 

Later this year, in October, five of the 20 convicts will also stand trial in Belgium when the court case for the terrorist attacks at the Brussels metro station Maalbeek and Brussels Airport in 2016 kick off.  

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