Since Abdeslam can't afford a lawyer, the French government decided to accommodate him and provide him with a lawyer using funds from the government's budget.
After meeting his client, the French lawyer immediately described Abdeslam as a "little moron from Molenbeek," possibly trying to let everyone know his true feelings towards the jihadist.
By taking such a high-profile case, Berton is nervous and fears the public's anger.
"Yes, I hesitated," Berton told French media after it was revealed that he'd be defending Abdeslam.
"Of course there are people who won't understand what my job is… but we're in a democracy and Salah Abdeslam is a person, he has things to say. Justice is served when we understand things; otherwise, there is no point to a trial, no usefulness for the victims, the lawyer added, as cited by the Local.
When Abdeslam was held in Belgium, his lawyer over there, Sven Mary, tried to portray him not as a dangerous terrorist, but a feeble-minded youth.
Abdeslam, the mastermind of the Paris attacks, was caught in March, following a large-scale anti-terrorist raid in Brussels.
The French police say Abdeslam played a key role in the organization of the Paris terrorist attacks last November that killed 130 people. Prior to the attacks, Abdeslam was responsible for logistics for the group of terrorists by hiring cars, hotel rooms and driving the attackers himself to the sites where the attacks took place.
Abdeslam was born in Brussels on September 15, 1989 in a family of Moroccan immigrants. Salah had two brothers, one of whom, Ibrahim, was also involved in the Paris attacks as a suicide bomber at the Stade de France. The second brother wasn't involved in the attacks.