Carlos the Jackal jailed for life for 1974 Paris grenade attack
A Paris court on Monday jailed self-styled professional revolutionary Carlos, known as “the Jackal”, to life for a 1974 grenade attack in Paris that killed two people.
The court determined that the 67-year-old Venezuelan, once Europe’s most wanted man, was guilty of throwing a grenade into a busy shop and cafe, the Drugstore Saint-Germain, on the city’s Left Bank.
Prosecutors had argued he carried out the attack to put pressure on the French government to yield to the demands of Japanese pro-Palestinian gunmen who had taken hostages at the French embassy in The Hague.
Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is already serving two life sentences for other attacks going back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Defence lawyer Francis Vuillemin denounced the verdict, telling journalists that the “media’s truth” had overwhelmed the “judicial truth” and influenced the judges.
He also accused French security services of manipulating witnesses who testified against Carlos during the two-week trial.
“We will see you again in a year’s time, on appeal, for the next performance of this judicial theatre,” he told press after the judgment was handed down.
But a lawyer representing 18 injured parties said it was “a victory for justice”.
“It’s important for everyone that justice is done in their case,” Georges Holleaux told a journalist who asked him what purpose was served by sentencing the defendant to a third term of life imprisonment.
“Just because Carlos committed a litany of crimes doesn’t mean that the victims of some of them should be satisfied with his other crimes being tried and not the ones they were victims of,” he argued.
Earlier, Carlos himself denounced the trial as “absurd” in a vehement statement to the court before the judges retired to consider their verdict.
“I am no innocent, but this trial is an absurdity from every point of view,” the one-time pro-Palestinian militant told the court.
Carlos has been in prison in France since being seized in Sudan in 1994.
He is already serving life sentences for his part in a string of bomb attacks that killed 11 people in 1982-83 and for the killing of two French police agents and a Lebanese informant in 1975.