________________________________________________________________________ French prosecutors demand life for 'Jackal' Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net Copyright ) 1997 Agence France-Presse PARIS (December 22, 1997 3:30 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - The chief prosecutor in the trial of "Carlos the Jackal," who is on trial for a triple murder in Paris in 1975, on Monday called for a sentence of life imprisonment. When the 10-day old trial resumed earlier in the day, prosecutor Gino Necchi said he would seek a ruling from the Assize Court whether there were aggravating circumstances which would carry a life sentence. Carlos, 48, a Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is accused of shooting dead two French secret service agents and a Lebanese informer. He was handed over to France by Sudan in 1994. In principle, the charges against him carry a 30-year-sentence. Necchi, who did not ask for a minimum term, said the decision he was asking from the court was "not a question of war, of revenge, but of implementing the law of the republic." The trial resumes at 10 a.m. on Tuesday with defence summing up. A verdict is expected Tuesday evening unless the hearings are delayed by procedural delaying tactics, liberally used by defence lawyers up to now. A lawyer for the civil plaintiffs in the trial said Monday he considered Carlos had defended himself like a "chicken thief." He added that Carlos was responsible for the killings and that it was up to him to prove the fact. The lawyer Francis Szpiner continued: "Since 1983, I have been following Carlos' actions. For all these years I imagined it. As a defendant, I respect him. I am concerned about his rights. But for as a man who declares himself a professional revolutionary, I am astonished." Charging that Carlos had resorted to "the path of evasion and insult," he added: "You said at the start of the trial that you weren't a chicken thief, but you have defended yourself like a chicken thief." Earlier, another lawyer for the civil plaintiffs Jean-Paul Levy denounced the "circus" created by Carlos, "who tried to transform the Assize Court into a grotesque comedy to try to avoid replying to the one question which is being asked" -- that is, is he guilty? Apart from the outcome of the current hearing, Carlos faces five other trials for terrorist offences in the 1970s.
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