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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Carlos the Jackal loses bid to fight last of three life sentences

The self-declared ‘professional revolutionary’ has spent close to quarter of a century behind bars in France

Venezuelan international terrorist Carlos the Jackal, real name Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, sits with his French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre in a Paris courtroom in 2000. AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz
Venezuelan international terrorist Carlos the Jackal, real name Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, sits with his French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre in a Paris courtroom in 2000. AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz

A French court on Thursday threw out a last ditch bid by left-wing revolutionary Carlos the Jackal, once one of the world’s most wanted militants, to fight a life-in-jail conviction for a deadly grenade attack in Paris 44 years ago.

The self-declared ‘professional revolutionary’, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has spent close to quarter of a century behind bars in France since he was captured and spirited out of Sudan by French special forces in 1994.

He had already lost previous legal fights against two other convictions that also earned him life sentences, and this was his third and last appeal, although he had not been expected to succeed.

The latest trial was related to Carlos the Jackal’s conviction last year for an attack in 1974 on a shop on Paris’s Champs Elysee, the Drugstore Publicis, that killed two people and injured 36 others.

The court in Paris confirmed his life sentence after the case was heard by a special jury made up of professional magistrates. It ruled that all of the evidence from the investigation showed that he was “the individual who had thrown that grenade.”

Now 68, Carlos the Jackal, who was born in Venezuela, is already serving two other life terms. One is 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.

The nickname was given to him by the media after a reporter saw a copy of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal at Ramirez’s London flat.

One of his two lawyers was his wife, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who married him after meeting him as defence attorney.