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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Jewish Museum shootings suspect refuses extradition to Belgium

French national Mehdi Nemmouche held under anti-terror laws after 24 May attack in Brussels in which three people died
Apollin Pepiezep, lawyer of Mehdi Nemmouche
Apollin Pepiezep, lawyer of Brussels shooting suspect Mehdi Nemmouche speaks to the press outside the appeal court at Versailles. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

The French national suspected of having shot dead three people in Brussels's Jewish Museum last month has refused extradition from France to Belgium, according to prosecutors and his lawyer.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, has been in police custody since his arrest on Friday in the southern city of Marseille.

Prosecutors say the repeat-offender has been held under anti-terror laws on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and possession of weapons in relation to the attack on 24 May.

Prosecutors said that during an audience before a court in Versailles outside Paris, Nemmouche expressed his refusal to be extradited when presented with a European arrest warrant.

Nemmouche's lawyer, Apolin Pepiezep, said his client preferred to be judged in France. The suspect is due to make another court appearance on Thursday at which France can demand that he be extradited.

Nemmouche has served five jail terms in France before spending most of 2013 fighting with Islamist rebels in Syria, prosecutors have said.

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