February 23, 2018 / 3:36 PM / in 6 months

France steps up probe of suspect in Spain's August attacks - source

PARIS, Feb 23 (Reuters) - One of three people arrested on Tuesday in France in connection with Islamist attacks in the Spanish region of Catalonia in August will be put under formal investigation while the other two will be freed, a judicial source said on Friday.

The man kept in custody was born in 1986, the source said, without any more details. He will be heard by an investigative magistrate to be formally put under investigation, the source said.

Under French law, the placing of a suspect under formal investigation means that prosecutors believe they have “serious or consistent evidence” that could result in prosecution. But the investigation could also be droppped.

The three were arrested over suspicion of links to Driss Oukabir who is in custody in Spain. He is charged with membership of a terrorist organisation and murder for his part in a Barcelona van attack that killed 14 people in August.

In the attack, a man drove a rented vehicle into crowds in Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas boulevard on Aug. 17, killing 14 and injuring more than 100.

One day later, police shot dead five people in Cambrils, down the coast from Barcelona, after they drove their car at pedestrians and police officers, killing a woman. (Reporting by Caroline Pailliez; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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