PARIS (AFP) – A French court sent Carlos the Jackal, once one of the world’s most wanted criminals, back to jail for his third life sentence on Tuesday (March 28) after convicting him of a grenade attack 42 years ago on a Paris shop that killed two people.
The Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is already serving two life sentences in France for deadly attacks in the 1970s and 1980s.
The 67-year-old Ramirez, in a final statement before the judges announced their verdict, denounced the trial as “absurd”and said he was being tried on phoney evidence.
His lawyers had urged the special Paris court to acquit him but the court found him guilty and handed down the life sentenced requested by prosecutors.
Ramirez was charged with murder over the Sept 15, 1974 grenade attack on the Publicis drugstore in central Paris, which also injured 34 people. He denied involvement in the attack.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Marxist militant and self-dubbed“elite gunman” became a symbol of Cold War anti-imperialism and public enemy number one for Western governments.
He sealed his notoriety in 1975 with the hostage-taking of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna in the name of the Palestinian struggle, and went on to become an international gun-for-hire with Soviet bloc protectors.
At the start of his trial two weeks ago, Ramirez described himself as a “professional revolutionary”.
The two life sentences he is already serving in France are for the murder of two French police officers and an informant in June 1975 and for a series of attacks on trains, a train station and a Paris street in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and wounded about 150 more.