Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

'Carlos the Jackal' on trial for 1974 Paris grenade bombing

Ramírez Sánchez also known as Carlos the Jackal Ramírez Sánchez also known as Carlos the JackalReuters
Edmund Wade | 14 March, 2017, 00:35

Georges Holleaux, a lawyer representing the two widows of the men killed and 16 other people affected by the attacks, said before the trial that his clients relished the chance of seeing Carlos face justice.

"The victims have been waiting so long for Carlos to be judged and convicted".

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is at present serving two life sentences for his role in a series of bombing between 1982-83, which killed 11 people, and for killing two French police agents and a Lebanese informant in 1975, it was reported. If convicted in this French trial of first degree murder charges, he could get a third life sentence.

"What exactly is the point of having a trial so long after the events?" she asked.

The grenade attack case was initially dismissed due to lack of evidence, but was later reopened following his 1994 arrest in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

The Jackal became one of the world's most wanted fugitives after an operation in which he took OPEC oil ministers hostage in the name of the Palestinian struggle.

With attention in France now focused on the threat of Islamist attacks, "the trial in Paris will reach back to a time when Europe was repeatedly targeted by ruthless groups sympathetic to the Palestinian cause", says The Guardian.

The prosecution maintain that the grenade attack was linked to a larger plot, which included a hostage situation at the French embassy in The Hague on September 13, 1974. "Their wounds have never healed".

The U.S. -made hand grenade used in the Publicis attack came from the same batch as three grenades used in The Hague attack and another grenade found in a Paris apartment used by Ramirez, they say.

Ramirez Sanchez has pleaded he is innocent and denied involvement, but an Arab language news magazine published a 1979 interview with a man it identified as Ramirez Sanchez who claimed responsibility for the attack.

One was also found at the Paris home of Carlos's mistress.

At the time of the attack, Ramirez Sanchez was 24 years old and had already joined the organisation Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but had not yet achieved worldwide notoriety.

In his latest trial, which began in a Paris court on Monday, he faces charges including murder over the September 15, 1974 grenade attack on the Publicis drugstore in central Paris, which also injured 34.

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