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

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  March 13, 2017 at 7:31 AM
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March 13 (UPI) -- Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, is facing a trial Monday for allegedly throwing a grenade in a Paris shopping center in 1974.

Ramirez Sanchez, 67, was once one of the world's most wanted terror suspects for carrying out several killings in the name of Palestinian and communist causes, including a bombing on a train traveling between Paris and Toulouse in 1982 that killed five people. He is serving two life terms.

In his latest trial, prosecutors accuse Ramirez Sanchez of throwing a hand grenade into a shopping center in Paris' Latin Quarter in September 1974, killing two people and injuring 34. He pleaded not guilty, though he once said he carried out the attack to persuade France to release a Japanese communist militant in a newspaper interview he later disavowed.

His lawyer said the trial is a waste of time and money.

"What exactly is the point of having a trial so long after the events?" lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre said.

Georges Holleaux, a lawyer representing the victims, said the trial will give the families of victims a chance to see justice served.

"The victims have been waiting so long for Ramirez to be judged and convicted. Their wounds have never healed," Holleaux said.

Ramirez Sanchez faces charges including "murders carried out with a terrorist organization." Prosecutors said the grenade bombing he is a accused of carrying out is linked to an earlier hostage-taking at the French Embassy in The Hague of which he is accused of orchestrating.

Ramirez Sanchez, who the media dubbed Carlos the Jackal after the fictional terrorist in Frederick Forsyth's 1971 The Day of the Jackal novel, was arrested in 1994 by French police in Sudan about 20 years after the first attack he was accused of carrying out.

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