Extremist Carlos the Jackal back on trial over Paris attack
PARIS (AP) — The Venezuelan extremist known as Carlos the Jackal went back on trial Monday for a deadly 1974 grenade attack on a Paris shopping arcade.
A Paris court convicted Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, last year and handed him a life sentence.
He appealed — even though he’s already serving two life sentences for murders and attacks he was convicted of perpetrating or organizing in the 1970s and 1980s on behalf of the Palestinian cause, or of communist revolution.
One of his lawyers, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said Carlos hadn’t been able to see the case dossier for the appeals trial, and might ask for a delay in Monday’s opening proceedings.
Carlos, now 68, has long denied involvement in the attack on the Drugstore Publicis shopping center in the French capital’s Latin Quarter, which killed two people and injured 34.
The case was initially dismissed for lack of evidence. Carlos, the only defendant in the original trial, was found guilty of throwing the grenade.
Lawyer Francis Vuillemin said the defense team will plead for acquittal.
“It’s a very tough fight but the hardest battles are sometimes the most beautiful,” he said. “Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is still his old self, in great shape, despite being 68 years old. He is going to fight like he always does, at each trial.”
Ramirez Sanchez was once the world’s most-wanted fugitive, before intelligence agents captured him in Sudan in 1994 and smuggled him to France in a sack.
In one of his most dramatic operations, he led a commando that attacked a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, Austria, in late 1975. He took more than 60 hostages, including 11 OPEC ministers, and three people were killed.