Lawyers for Salah Abdeslam, a major suspect in the November 2015 attacks in the French capital, Paris, say they will no longer defend him as he refuses to answer any question regarding the acts of terror.
"We both decided to give up his defense," Frank Berton said in a joint interview with France's BFM TV with his fellow Sven Mary on Wednesday, adding, "We don't think that he will speak, and he will use the right to remain silent."
Asking "given our position, what are we supposed to do?" Berton further explained, "We said from the beginning... that if our client remained silent we would quit his defense."
Berton added that the suspect had also said he no longer wants representation.
For his part, Mary said the decision was necessary as he had felt as if his role was just to "pay social visits to the prison."
The 27-year-old Abdeslam, a French national of Moroccan descent who was raised in Belgium, is believed to be the last surviving complicit in the Paris attacks, which were claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists. At least 130 people were killed in the assaults on November 13.
Abdeslam was arrested on March 18 after a shootout in Belgium’s capital Brussels and was extradited to France in late April.
Since his extradition, Abdeslam has refused to answer questions.
Berton said the suspect’s refusal to talk could indicate his protest at being monitored by a 24-hour camera during his solitary confinement in Fleury-Merogis prison south of Paris.