Culture&Arts

Old-time terrorist 'Carlos the Jackal' back on Paris trial

Old-time terrorist 'Carlos the Jackal' back on Paris trial

Georges Holleaux, a lawyer representing the two widows of the men killed and 16 other people affected, said they relished the chance to finally see Carlos in court. Two people were killed and 34 injured.

The 67-year-old convict cut a grizzled, thinner figure as he was led smiling into a courthouse in Paris, where he is serving a life sentence for other attacks.

In 1979, the Al Watan Al Arabi, an Arab language news magazine in France, published a long interview with a man it identified as Ramirez Sanchez in which he allegedly claimed he had personally thrown the grenade into the restaurant, described the full details of the operation and explained why it was carried out.

Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal" for a series of attacks in France in the 1970s and 1980s, faces trial again on Monday for the deadly bombing of a Paris shopping center in 1974.

If convicted of first-degree murders in the latest trial, the Marxist guerrilla who became a symbol of Cold War anti-imperialism could get a third life sentence. He was arrested in 1994 in Sudan, 20 years after the first attack he was accused of.

Some years later, in a newspaper interview which Ramirez now denies having given, he was quoted as claiming responsibility for the drugstore attack, saying its aim was to put pressure on French authorities to wrap up negotiations with the hostage-takers in The Hague.


With attention in France now focused on the ever-present threat of a jihadist attack, the trial in Paris will reach back to a time when Europe was repeatedly targeted by ruthless groups sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

Investigators have tracked the provenance of the grenade and say it came from the same batch as those used by The Hague hostage-takers and had been stolen from a U.S. army base in 1972.

Carlos has pleaded innocent and denied involvement in the case. "Their wounds have never healed".

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was given his nickname when he was one of the world's most wanted terror suspects.

One was also found at the Paris home of Carlos's mistress. He was 24 years old and already had joined the organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Sanchez, who has spent the last 23 years in a high-security prison, is accused of throwing a grenade into the Drugstore Publicis in Paris on September 15, 1974, killing two men and wounding 34 people.


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