A French court has charged the Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam over his role in the November 2015 killings that left 130 dead, just hours after his extradition from Belgium.

Abdeslam was brought to France by helicopter early on Wednesday where he was formally placed under arrest before being taken to the main Paris court, where he spent several hours.

Abdeslam, a French national of Moroccan origin who grew up in Belgium, is believed to be the last surviving member of a group that hit cafes, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris on November 13.

His lawyer Frank Berton said that investigating judges charged him with murder, association with "a terrorist group", possession of weapons and explosives as well as sequestration over the hostage-taking at the Bataclan concert hall where 90 were killed.

Another hearing has been set for May 20, the lawyer said, adding that his client was being held in the Fleury-Merogis prison complex outside Paris.


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Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas said that the suspect would be placed in isolation and monitored by "hardened guards" skilled in handling dangerous detainees. 

Europe's most wanted man 

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels on March 18 after four months on the run as Europe's most wanted man.

Prosecutors believe he was in charge of logistics for the Paris attacks, as he rented cars and hotel rooms used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group attackers.

His brother Brahim detonated his suicide vest in a bar, and Abdeslam himself said that he had been expected to do the same outside the national stadium, but had backed out at the last minute.

Abdeslam's arrest came just days before coordinated attacks on Brussels airport and a metro station that left 32 people dead.

Police have uncovered clear links between Abdeslam and the three Brussels suicide bombers, but he has said through his Belgian lawyer that he knew nothing about the attacks.

Last month, Belgian police arrested another key Paris suspect called Mohamed Abrini, who was seen with Abdeslam before the attacks, and who turned out to be the so-called "man in the hat" seen in CCTV footage with two bombers shortly before they staged the Brussels airport assault.

Source: AFP