PARIS, April 28 (UPI) -- Sven Mary, a lawyer for suspected Islamic State militant and Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, said his client has "the intelligence of an empty ashtray."
Mary, 43, characterized Abdeslam to French newspaper Liberation as a simple-minded individual. Abdeslam is believed to be the lone survivor accused of taking part in the Nov. 13 coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
"He has the intelligence of an empty ashtray, he is abysmally vacuous," Mary said. "He is a perfect example of the 'Grand Theft Auto' generation who believe they live in a video game. I asked him if he had read the Koran, which is what I did, and he told me that he had read his interpretation of it on the Internet. For simple minds, it is perfect, the 'Net, it's the maximum they can understand."
Mary said that taking Abdeslam as a client has been difficult. Although the lawyer has criticized his client, there is no indication he will stop representing Abdeslam -- who will also be represented by high-profile French criminal lawyer Frank Berton after he was extradited to France.
"It is not easy to take on his defense, which brings me nothing but crap. I've been repeatedly assaulted, verbally and physically," Mary said. "Two types even waited for me in front of my office and blows were exchanged, but I can defend myself. On several occasions the police had to escort my daughters to school."
Earlier this month, Politico reported the Dutch Brussels Bar Association implemented a gag order on Mary, who was told not to speak to journalists without permission from the association's president or face disciplinary actions.
Abdeslam, 26, was arrested in Brussels days before the Brussels bombings took place on March 22, when at least 32 people were killed. Mary said that if he had known about the attacks in Brussels he perhaps would not agreed to take Abdeslam as a client.