________________________________________________________________________ 'Jackal' jury gets case after defendant rails against Israel Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net Copyright ) 1997 Agence France-Presse PARIS (December 23, 1997 4:24 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - A jury began deliberating murder charges against terrorist "Carlos the Jackal" Tuesday night after a four-hour closing speech in which the defendant lauded the Palestinian cause and decried the "McDonaldization" of society. The nine jurors plus presiding Assize Court Judge Yves Corneloup and his two assessors got the case at 9:30 p.m. and were expected to deliver a verdict later that night. Carlos, a 48-year-old Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was considered likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment, the sentence already given him in absentia by a French court in 1992 for the 1975 murders of two French agents and a Lebanese informer. The trial ended with the long, rambling speech in which Carlos castigated the West and hailed the Palestinian cause, violent revolution and war to the death. Carlos spoke of "world war, war to the death, the war that humanity must win against McDonaldization." He praised his defence lawyers, notably Isabelle Coutant-Peyre as "the daughter of an old French family, the real France." He repeated that the 1975 murders of which he is accused were a set-up, and blamed Israel, "the first terrorist state in history." Carlos spoke incoherently of reported sightings of himself in Copenhagen wearing bell-bottom trousers and begging, and of former Panamanian president Manuel Noriega and Cuban intelligence agents. Earlier another defence lawyer, Olivier Maudret, urged acquittal for the accused, "not for Carlos, but in the name of the law and for the truth." Carlos was brought to France by French agents from Sudan in 1994 after almost 25 years on the run. Coutant-Peyre spoke of a "trick" which she said was the work of the Israeli secret service, Mossad, adding that the case was "built on a lie, a plot, a manipulation.". She said that "for 500 million south Americans and a billion Muslims, Carlos is the fighter for a cause he chose, and not the 'bloody mercenary' depicted by the French press." Maudret said Carlos would probably spend the rest of his life behind bars even if he were acquitted, because of other terrorist trials he faces, and criticised judicial investigation of the case. A court-appointed lawyer, Maudret said investigation of the 1975 murders was "torpedoed by the secret service to cover up a state secret, and 22 years on, you are being asked to judge Carlos on the rotten foundations of an aborted procedure." Maudret said there was still a serious doubt about the identity of the gunman who carried out the killings and asked why three "capital witnesses" of the murders, friends of Carlos, had been freed before the appointment of an investigating magistrate. On Monday, to guffaws from the accused, prosecutor Gino Necchi called for a life term for Carlos, saying the sentence he was asking for was "not a question of war, of revenge, but of implementing the law of the republic." Apart from Tuesday's verdict, Carlos faces five other trials for terrorist offences in the 1970s in which 13 people died. Throughout his trial, the plump, greying Carlos has played for the limelight, appearing to thoroughly enjoy the proceedings. Relaxed, affable and intent on the minutiae of French judicial proceedings, Carlos at times lent a tea-party atmosphere to the austere, wood-panelled courtroom, waving to acquaintances on the crowded public benches, or chatting and joking with his lawyers. He readily interrupted the proceedings to correct points of detail, made rambling speeches and recounted anecdotes that missed the point. He has constantly argued that he was "kidnapped" in Sudan and that therefore his trial is "illegal."
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