A Venezuelan militant who was behind a number of terror attacks during the 1970s and 80s is appealing to have one of his three life sentences reduced.
Carlos the Jackal was found guilty in 2017 over a grenade attack in 1974 on a shop on Paris’s Champs Elysees called the Drugstore Publicis, which killed two people and injured 36.
He has been in prison since 1994 after being captured in Sudan by French special forces and given two life sentences for murders and attacks carried out on behalf of the Palestinian cause or of communist revolution
But he appeared in a court in Paris on Wednesday in a bid to get the number of years he will be jailed for reduced.
The so-called jackal, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, made a joke in the court as proceedings started, saying: “I’ve been on a forced holiday in France for 27-and-a-half years.”
He has always denied being responsible for the attack at the store in Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
Carlos had been linked to the attack by a former comrade-in-arms, despite there being no DNA evidence or fingerprints found after the bombing.
Back in 2018, he told a French court: “I am a professional revolutionary; revolution is my job.”
Carlos was born on 12 October 1949 into a wealthy family in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
He studied in Moscow, Russia, before joining a Marxist Palestinian group.
Carlos, 71, became known as one of the world’s most wanted fugitives in 1975 when he was part of an attack on a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel in Vienna.
He was part of a group with five other gunmen who took around 40 people hostage, including 11 energy ministers.
Austrian authorities agreed to give Carlos a plane, so he could fly with his team to Algiers.
However, three people were killed during negotiations.
The hostages were then released following a ransom, but Carlos and the rest of his group walked free.
He was later given the nickname by the media after a reporter saw a copy of Frederick Forsyth’s “The Day of the Jackal” at his London flat.
A decision on the appeal is expected this Friday.
He has already lost appeals against two other life terms – one for the murder of two French police officers and an
informant in June 1975; and the other for attacks on trains, a railway station, and a Paris street in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and wounded about 150 others.
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