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Venezuela Might Repatriate Assassin

November 8, 2000

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) _ Venezuela may ask France to return international assassin Carlos the Jackal, a Venezuelan who is currently serving a 50-year sentence in Paris.

A recent investigation has turned up evidence that the 70-year-old convicted assassin, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was illegally brought to France six years ago to face murder charges, Foreign Ministry legal consultant Ernesto Kleber said Tuesday.

Ramirez was captured in Sudan in 1994 and brought to France where a court convicted him in 1997 for the murder of two French secret agents and an informer in 1975. Kleber said Ramirez was kidnapped, violating international laws.

Kleber said the foreign ministry could soon decide whether to ask France to hand over Sanchez.

Last year, Venezuela asked the French government for an explanation of the manner that Ramirez was detained and brought to France. At that time, the foreign ministry said it may ask that Ramirez be retried if the killer’s rights were violated during arrest.

President Hugo Chavez last year shocked Venezuelans when he sent ``The Jackal″ a letter in which he expressed his support for the prisoner. Chavez said it ``does not imply political support but human support.″

Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel will visit Paris on Nov. 22 to discuss treatment of ``The Jackal″ in the French jail, Kleber said.

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