Brussels - Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015, has said he will not appear in court when a Belgian trial against him resumes later this week, the court announced Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Frenchman is thought to be the only survivor of a group of terrorists whose orchestrated attacks across Paris on the evening of November 13, 2015, left 130 people dead.
Abdeslam was Europe's most wanted man before his arrest in Brussels on March 18, 2016 - four days before terrorist attacks on the Belgian capital in which 32 people were killed.
On Monday, Abdeslam went on trial in Belgium with one other suspect for their alleged involvement in a shoot-out during a terrorism raid in Brussels days before his arrest. One terrorism suspect, Mohamed Belkaid, was killed and several police officers were injured.
The two defendants are charged with attempted murder in a terrorist context and face prison sentences of up to 20 years.
Abdeslam refused to testify on Monday. "My silence does not make me guilty, nor a criminal," he told the court, adding that Muslims were treated "mercilessly" in court and were denied the presumption of innocence.
The hearing is due to resume on Thursday.
"Mr Salah Abdeslam informed the tribunal that he won't appear before court during the audience of Thursday, the 8 February," court president Luc Hennart wrote in a statement to media.
Monday's hearing was conducted amid heavy security. Abdeslam, who has been extradited to France, has been moved to a prison near the Belgian border with a view to transporting him the 140 kilometres by road to and from Brussels for each day of the hearing.