Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in a jihadist rampage that killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris in November 2015, on Wednesday told a French court he had never killed or wounded anyone.
“I wanted to say today that I didn’t kill anyone, and I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t even make a scratch,” Abdeslam told the court under questioning.
“It’s important for me to say this, because since the beginning of this case, people have not stopped slandering me.”
French-Moroccan Abdeslam, 32, is believed to be the only surviving member of the Islamist commando thought to have carried out the gun and bomb attacks on six restaurants and bars, the Bataclan concert hall and national soccer stadium.
He is alone among the 20 defendants to be directly accused of murder, attempted murder and hostage-taking. Investigators allege that his explosive vest malfunctioned and that he fled the French capital in the hours after the attack.
Abdeslam described himself as an Islamic State soldier when the trial began in September but has not yet been questioned on his alleged role in the night of the attacks.
He told the court he had never travelled to Syria.
“Every day they fight, every day they sacrifice themselves,” he said of the Islamic State insurgents.