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Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam stands trial

Salah Abdeslam was flanked by armed police as he arrived at Palais de Justice
The 28-year-old told j..

  • Salah Abdeslam was flanked by armed police as he arrived at Palais de Justice
  • The 28-year-old told judge Marie-France Keutge: ‘I'm staying silent, it's my right'
  • The French passport holder of Moroccan background faces a 40 year sentence

By Peter Allen In Brussels For Mailonline

Published: 09:03 GMT, 5 February 2018 | Updated: 13:55 GMT, 5 February 2018

Morrocan-born Salah Abdeslam (pictured), 28, was flanked by armed police wearing balaclavas as he arrived at Palais de Justice

Morrocan-born Salah Abdeslam (pictured), 28, was flanked by armed police wearing balaclavas as he arrived at Palais de Justice

The only terrorist survivor of the murderous ISIS attack on Paris that killed 130 people today told a judge: ‘I am not afraid of you, I put my trust in Allah.'

Salah Abdeslam, 28, was flanked by two special-forces police officers brandishing machine guns and wearing balaclavas at the start of a trial in Brussels.

In hugely dramatic scenes at the Palais de Justice, the notorious jihadi told the judge: 'I'm not afraid of you, I place my trust in Allah. What I see is Muslims being judged and treated in the worst possible way.'

Abdeslam refused to stand and also invoked his right to prevent cameramen picturing or filming him in court.

If found guilty of terrorist charges along with 24-year-old Sofien Ayari, an alleged accomplice from Tunisia, he faces up to 40 years in prison.

Abdeslam was wearing a white jacket and thick black beard as he was led in front of judges, one of whom said: 'Confirm your identity. Are you Salah Abdelslam? Say who you are.'

In turn, the French passport holder from a Moroccan background who was brought up in Brussels, stared at the floor.

But later in proceedings, Marie-France Keutgen, the President of the judges bench, asked him why he refused to stand up in court.

‘I’m tired,’ Abdeslam replied, to which Keutgen said he should show some respect, and get off his seat.

Then Ms Keutgen asked the defendant why he had bothered turning up in the first place.

‘I've been asked to come, I'm here, I'm being accused, so I'm here,’ Abdeslam replied.

‘I'm staying silent, it's my right, it doesn’t make me a criminal. It’s my defence, that’s it. I want it to be based on scientific and tangible evidence.’

A courtroom sketch shows Salah Abdeslam (centre) prior to the opening of his trial at the Palais de JusticeA courtroom sketch shows Salah Abdeslam (centre) prior to the opening of his trial at the Palais de Justice

A courtroom sketch shows Salah Abdeslam (centre) prior to the opening of his trial at the Palais de Justice

Abdeslam was wearing a white jacket and thick black beard as he was led in front of judges

Abdeslam, a French passport holder from a Moroccan background, is accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist contextAbdeslam, a French passport holder from a Moroccan background, is accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist contextAbdeslam, a French passport holder from a Moroccan background, is accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist contextAbdeslam, a French passport holder from a Moroccan background, is accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist context

Abdeslam, a French passport holder from a Moroccan background, is accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist context

Dramatic video showed the moment Salah Abdeslam was captured in Brussels on 18 March 2016Dramatic video showed the moment Salah Abdeslam was captured in Brussels on 18 March 2016

Dramatic video showed the moment Salah Abdeslam was captured in Brussels on 18 March 2016

The failed suicide bomber and so-called 'quartermaster' of the November 13th 2015 massacre was captured in Belgium four months later.

Today's trial relates to a shoot-out with police in March 2016, with Abdeslam and Ayari accused of possession of weapons and attempted murder in a terrorist context.

There will be another process later this year or in 2019 in Paris, when Abdeslam will face trial in relation to the attacks in France.

Meanwhile, there were 200 armed officers inside the court building in Brussels alone today, where Abdeslam appeared inside the 90th Correctional Chamber.

It was the first time he has been seen in a public court since being shot in the leg during his dramatic capture.

The Paris attacks were on the Stade de France during a football international between France and Germany, bars, restaurants, and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.

Among the nine attackers involved was Abdeslam's brother, Brahim Abdeslam, 31, who blew himself up inside a packed restaurant.

Both men had run a bar in the Belgium capital, in the Molenbeek district where Salah Abdeslam was eventually found hiding on March 18th 2016.

The defendant was represented by Belgian lawyers Sven Mary (seen right) and Romain Delcoigne (seen left)The defendant was represented by Belgian lawyers Sven Mary (seen right) and Romain Delcoigne (seen left)

The defendant was represented by Belgian lawyers Sven Mary (seen right) and Romain Delcoigne (seen left)

Salah Abdeslam was the so-called 'quartermaster' of the 2015 massacre and played a major role in providing the arms and explosives used in the attackSalah Abdeslam was the so-called 'quartermaster' of the 2015 massacre and played a major role in providing the arms and explosives used in the attack

Salah Abdeslam was the so-called 'quartermaster' of the 2015 massacre and played a major role in providing the arms and explosives used in the attack

Abdeslam had run a bar in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capitalAbdeslam had run a bar in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital

Abdeslam had run a bar in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital

Abdeslam (below) faces terrorism charges alongside 24-year-old Sofien Ayari (above) - an alleged accomplice from TunisiaAbdeslam (below) faces terrorism charges alongside 24-year-old Sofien Ayari (above) - an alleged accomplice from Tunisia

Abdeslam (below) faces terrorism charges alongside 24-year-old Sofien Ayari (above) – an alleged accomplice from Tunisia

Chairwoman of the court Marie-France Keutgen spoke during the opening of the first day of the trialChairwoman of the court Marie-France Keutgen spoke during the opening of the first day of the trial

Chairwoman of the court Marie-France Keutgen spoke during the opening of the first day of the trial

He allegedly targeted bars and cafes around the Stade de France during a football international between France and Germany. Pictured: Palais de Justice, BrusselsHe allegedly targeted bars and cafes around the Stade de France during a football international between France and Germany. Pictured: Palais de Justice, Brussels

He allegedly targeted bars and cafes around the Stade de France during a football international between France and Germany. Pictured: Palais de Justice, Brussels

Among those represented in court were three officers from the Franco-Belgian investigation team who were wounded during Abdeslam's captureAmong those represented in court were three officers from the Franco-Belgian investigation team who were wounded during Abdeslam's capture

Among those represented in court were three officers from the Franco-Belgian investigation team who were wounded during Abdeslam's capture

Armed Belgian policemen wearing balaclavas stood guard at the entrance of the courthouse in BrusselsArmed Belgian policemen wearing balaclavas stood guard at the entrance of the courthouse in Brussels

Armed Belgian policemen wearing balaclavas stood guard at the entrance of the courthouse in Brussels

He was then linked to another Isis attack in Brussels four days later – on March 22nd 2016 – when a total of 32 people were killed in coordinated suicide attacks on the city's airport and an underground train station.

Anti-terrorist judges and police were hoping the trial today would shed light on the way groups like Isis operate in Europe, but Abdeslam is adamant that he will not cooperate.

Tight secrecy have surrounded plans for transferring Abdeslam from Paris to the Palais de Justice in Brussels, and then back to a prison just across the border in northern France every night.

French and Belgian forces are taking joint responsibility for escorting the defendant from France's Vendin-le-Vieil prison.

In Brussels, police are reportedly guarding a building with a surface area greater than that of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome.

French police officers escorted a convoy which carried Paris attacks defendant Salah Abdeslam to courtFrench police officers escorted a convoy which carried Paris attacks defendant Salah Abdeslam to court

French police officers escorted a convoy which carried Paris attacks defendant Salah Abdeslam to court

His transportation over the border from France to Brussels has been subject to tight secrecyHis transportation over the border from France to Brussels has been subject to tight secrecy

His transportation over the border from France to Brussels has been subject to tight secrecy

Emergency services were called to the Bataclan theater in Paris after reports of a shootingEmergency services were called to the Bataclan theater in Paris after reports of a shooting

Emergency services were called to the Bataclan theater in Paris after reports of a shooting

Wounded people were evacuated from the Stade de France after explosions were reportedWounded people were evacuated from the Stade de France after explosions were reported

Wounded people were evacuated from the Stade de France after explosions were reported

As many as 90 people were killed inside the Bataclan theatre during a performance by rock band Eagles of Death MetalAs many as 90 people were killed inside the Bataclan theatre during a performance by rock band Eagles of Death Metal

As many as 90 people were killed inside the Bataclan theatre during a performance by rock band Eagles of Death Metal

Among those represented in court today were three officers belonging to the Franco-Belgian investigation team who were wounded during Abdeslam's capture.

The civil parties also include victims of the Brussels bombings, who asked to be included in proceedings at the last minute.

This led to Sven Mary, Abdeslam's lawyer, asking for adjournment. It was discussed by the bench, as the two defendants were briefly led out of the dock.

The trial continues.

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Australia

Great Southern sets development pathway for Mon Ami gold operation

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has set a development pathway for gold operations at Mon Ami in Western Australia after completing an in-house preliminary economic evaluation of the potential for an open-pit development.

Results are sufficiently positive for the company to initiate the full suite of requisite preliminary activities targeted at obtaining a mining approval under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) in 2021.

This progression towards development is expected to add significant underlying value to Mon Ami and the company’s gold strategy.

Development of the deposit offers a potential source of cash flow for ongoing funding of aggressive exploration plans across the gold portfolio – including Cox’s Find, at depth at Mon Ami and the Edinburgh Park Gold Project in North Queensland.

Testing high-grade extensions
Great Southern Mining chief executive officer Sean Gregory said: “We are pleased to announce that our in-house preliminary economic review has identified a potential low-cost..

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has set a development pathway for gold operations at Mon Ami in Western Australia after completing an in-house preliminary economic evaluation of the potential for an open-pit development.

Results are sufficiently positive for the company to initiate the full suite of requisite preliminary activities targeted at obtaining a mining approval under the Mining Act 1978 (WA) in 2021.

This progression towards development is expected to add significant underlying value to Mon Ami and the company’s gold strategy.

Development of the deposit offers a potential source of cash flow for ongoing funding of aggressive exploration plans across the gold portfolio – including Cox’s Find, at depth at Mon Ami and the Edinburgh Park Gold Project in North Queensland.

Testing high-grade extensions

Great Southern Mining chief executive officer Sean Gregory said: “We are pleased to announce that our in-house preliminary economic review has identified a potential low-cost development pathway for an open-pit mining operation at Mon Ami.

“The planned drilling program seeks to expand on this opportunity and test for higher grade extensions to the deposit at depth.

“Rapid development at Mon Ami has the potential to deliver a robust source of cash flow for GSN, allowing the further acceleration of the aggressive exploration plans across our Australian gold portfolio.”

Near-surface high-grade gold hits

Recent drill results at Mon Ami included several near-surface high-grade results – 11 metres at 7.9 g/t gold from 26 metres including 4 metres at 15.9 g/t and 4 metres at 12.4 g/t from 80 metres.

Initial technical studies have been scoped at the project to support a mining approval and include a review of the existing drill core and optical televiewer data by the company’s geotechnical consultants to recommend pit design parameters.

GSN believes that the high grades could extend to depth in an analogous fashion to the Ida H deposit 14 kilometres to the north of Mon Ami along the same regional shear zone, the Barnicoat Shear.

Upcoming drilling

The metallurgical characteristics of Mon Ami were tested in 2018 where the recoveries averaged 95% in the fresh and transitional rock, which will be the focus of any open pit development.

The maiden inferred resource of 1.1 million tonnes at 1.7 g/t for 59,000 ounces was estimated in 2018 and since then 2,073 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling has been conducted with further drilling is planned.

As a part of upcoming drilling, GSN plans to upgrade the resource to the indicated status based on an improved understanding of the deposit from the quality assured drilling and improved confidence around modifying factors.

Drill rig secured

The company has secured the services of its preferred RC drilling contractor to resume drilling operations at Laverton from the first week of December 2020.

Drilling will test these targets at Mon Ami as well as the targets at Cox’s Find.

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Australia

Tempest Minerals in trading halt with capital raising news pending

Tempest Minerals Ltd (ASX:TEM) (FRA:LIF) has a capital raising announcement pending and has been granted a trading halt by the ASX.

The halt will remain in place until the earlier of the start of normal trading on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, or when an announcement is released to the market.

Securities last traded at 3.8 cents and since the market close on August 28 have traded in the range of 2.4 cents to 5.3 cents.

Drilling underway
The company is active at the Yalgoo projects around 400 kilometres north of Perth in WA with drilling of three priority targets beginning last month at the Warriedar West Prospect.

Tempest considers Yalgoo the forgotten goldfield, with world-class deposits every 10 kilometres, including high-grade gold, copper, zinc, tungsten and iron, and major infrastructure in place which represents a low-cost, high-impact exploration opportunity.

The drilling at Warriedar West is targeting intrusion-related gold system (IRGS) mineralisation.

Gold and trace eleme..

Tempest Minerals Ltd (ASX:TEM) (FRA:LIF) has a capital raising announcement pending and has been granted a trading halt by the ASX.

The halt will remain in place until the earlier of the start of normal trading on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, or when an announcement is released to the market.

Securities last traded at 3.8 cents and since the market close on August 28 have traded in the range of 2.4 cents to 5.3 cents.

Drilling underway

The company is active at the Yalgoo projects around 400 kilometres north of Perth in WA with drilling of three priority targets beginning last month at the Warriedar West Prospect.

Tempest considers Yalgoo the forgotten goldfield, with world-class deposits every 10 kilometres, including high-grade gold, copper, zinc, tungsten and iron, and major infrastructure in place which represents a low-cost, high-impact exploration opportunity.

The drilling at Warriedar West is targeting intrusion-related gold system (IRGS) mineralisation.

Gold and trace element anomalies typical of IRG-style mineralisation are present in the project and it includes considerable nugget-rich free gold exploited in modern times by prospectors as well as high-grade gold in rock chips.

Tempest is also undertaking surface sampling and drill planning at other projects within its portfolio.

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Australia

S&P/ASX 200 dips 0.40% as new COVID-19 cases in the US top 150,000 for the first time

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) fell 26 points or 0.4% to 6,393 by around 1.40 pm as COVID-19 cases in the northern hemisphere continue to surge, leading to further lockdowns.

Despite today’s losses, the index is still on track for a weekly gain of about 3.2% after rising 4.4% last week.

Financials, energy and industrials were leading the declines today while materials and communications advanced.

Energy stocks were also underperforming but they are still up by 13% this week.

COVID-19 update
The number of new COVID-19 cases in the US topped 150,000 on Thursday, eight days after 100,000 cases were found in a day for the first time, according to a New York Times report.

Deaths are rising too with more than 1,000 on average each day and COVID-19 hospitalisations set a record on Thursday, climbing to 67,096.

The pandemic has risen to crisis levels in much of the nation, especially the Midwest, as hospitals warn of dwindling bed space and as coroners deploy mobile morgues.

Top gainers
Tod..

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) fell 26 points or 0.4% to 6,393 by around 1.40 pm as COVID-19 cases in the northern hemisphere continue to surge, leading to further lockdowns.

Despite today’s losses, the index is still on track for a weekly gain of about 3.2% after rising 4.4% last week.

Financials, energy and industrials were leading the declines today while materials and communications advanced.

Energy stocks were also underperforming but they are still up by 13% this week.

COVID-19 update

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the US topped 150,000 on Thursday, eight days after 100,000 cases were found in a day for the first time, according to a New York Times report.

Deaths are rising too with more than 1,000 on average each day and COVID-19 hospitalisations set a record on Thursday, climbing to 67,096.

The pandemic has risen to crisis levels in much of the nation, especially the Midwest, as hospitals warn of dwindling bed space and as coroners deploy mobile morgues.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include FYI Resources Ltd (ASX:FYI) (+13.89%), Euro Manganese Inc CDI (ASX:EMN) (+17.31%), Rimfire Pacific Mining N L (ASX:RIM) (+20.00%), Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) (+10.00%), Andromeda Metals Ltd (ASX:AND) (+15.38%), Auteco Minerals Ltd (ASX:AUT) (+10.00%), Macarthur Minerals Ord Shs (ASX:MIO) (+10.64%) and Nanoveu Ltd (ASX:NVU) (+15.00%).

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Alice Queen's strong drill results reveal potential to extend Horn Island gold resource

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