________________________________________________________________________ Jury convicts 'Carlos the Jackal' of triple murder Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net Copyright ) 1997 The Associated Press PARIS (December 23, 1997 10:07 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- The unrepentant revolutionary known as "Carlos the Jackal" was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for murdering three people in 1975. "Viva la revolucion!" Ilich Ramirez Sanchez proclaimed after the verdict. Ramirez smiled at the audience and shook his fist in the air as police guards ushered him from the courtroom. The verdict capped an eight-day trial in which the Venezuelan-born Ramirez, linked to some of the Cold War's most sensational terrorist attacks, was unable to refute evidence tying him to the 1975 shootings of the two French investigators and a Lebanese national in an apartment in Paris' Latin Quarter. The nine-member jury deliberated for nearly four hours before convicting Ramirez of the shootings of investigators Raymond Dous and Jean Donatini, and pro-Palestinian militant Michel Moukharbal, who Ramirez said betrayed him. The two agents of the DST -- France's FBI -- were investigating attacks earlier that year on Israel's El Al airlines at Orly Airport when they were gunned down. In a final four-hour plea to the jury, Ramirez called the proceedings a political show trial. "There is no law for me," said the dapper and graying revolutionary born to a Venezuelan Marxist lawyer who gave him Lenin's middle name. Before Judge Yves Corneloup halted Ramirez' monologue and sent the jury to deliberate behind closed doors, the defendant said he was unafraid of spending the rest of his life behind bars. "They want to sentence me to life in prison. I'm 48 years old, so it could be another 40 or 50 years. That doesn't horrify me," Ramirez said. In his rambling harangue to the jury, Ramirez stuck to the theme he has maintained throughout the trial: that he is a political combatant with a "love of revolution and love of justice." "I am a political prisoner," he said, speaking confidently in heavily Spanish accented French from notes in a red notebook. Captured by French agents in Sudan three years ago, Ramirez had long been inactive, ever since his support dried up with the Cold War's end. Once feared as a terrorist mastermind and now sounding like a windy anachronism, he elicited virtually no reaction from the public during the proceedings. At one point, a young couple wearing traditional Palestinian scarves around their necks who had sat through much of the trial, raised their fists and Ramirez reciprocated the salute. He called the Palestinian cause "a worldwide war and a war the world will win" and condemned Israel as a "terrorist nation." During the trial he repeatedly called his arrest "a Zionist plot" and that the 1975 killings were masterminded by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. Ramirez' leading lawyer, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said the defense would appeal the verdict. "It was not a just trial. He was convicted on political grounds," she told reporters after the verdict. "I consider that the decision comes from outside interests, especially America and Israel. The shootings were not the most notorious cases tied to the man who became known as "Carlos the Jackal." By his own count, he killed 83 people before his capture. Among other attacks, he was linked to the 1975 seizure of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna and the 1976 hijacking of an Air France jet to Entebbe, Uganda. Ramirez was captured in Khartoum, Sudan, on Aug. 14, 1994, and taken to Paris by French agents. He had been convicted in absentia of the three shooting deaths two years earlier, but French law mandated a retrial once he was in custody. Since the start of the trial, the defense sought three witnesses to the shootings, which took place in a Latin Quarter apartment rented by a friend of Ramirez. But prosecutors claimed they were unable to find the witnesses in question, all Latin American students studying in Paris. Instead, the court heard 22-year-old depositions given by witnesses shortly after the shootings. Defense attorneys contended the evidence at the trial was fabricated and the testimony was not credible. In an impassioned plea earlier Tuesday, lawyer Olivier Maudret also assured the jury that Ramirez would not go free even if acquitted. Ramirez is also under investigation in France for four terrorist attacks. "What I propose is acquittal," Maudret said. "The solution to acquit should not shock you: Carlos will not leave jail. "I don't ask it for Carlos, but for us, for our country, what it does best, in the name of law and truth." Prosecutor Gino Necchi asked for a life sentence for Ramirez because the victims were unarmed. Ramirez previously had risked a maximum 30-year prison term if convicted in the killings. By DEBORAH SEWARD, Associated Press Writer ________________________________________________________________________ The terrorist attacks attributed to 'Carlos the Jackal' Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net Copyright ) 1997 Agence France-Presse PARIS (December 23, 1997 10:07 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos" who was sentenced Wednesday to life imprisonment for three 1975 murders, is held responsible for numerous terrorist attacks. Here is a list of attacks Carlos is suspected of having been involved in. Many of the attacks listed were claimed by Carlos in a rare interview of 1979 in the Arab-language publication Al Watan al Arabi. He has since denied giving the interview. - Dec 30, 1973: British Jewish businessman Joseph Sieff, whose family founded the Marks and Spencer chain, seriously injured by shots to the face in London. - Jan 24, 1974: Bomb hurled into Israeli bank Hapoalim in London. Several people injured. - Aug 3, 1974: Three car bomb attacks against newspaper offices in Paris. - Sept 13, 1974: French ambassador at The Hague, Jacques Senard, taken hostage with 10 others. Carlos in 1979 said the attack aimed to help free Yutaka Furuya, of the extremist Japanese Red Army. Furuya was arrested at Paris's Orly airport on July 26, 1974, on arrival from Beirut. He was freed and the kidnappers at The Hague allowed to fly to safety. - Sept 15, 1974: Two grenades thrown into the Drugstore cafe in Paris. Two killed, 30 injured. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which Carlos had fought with, claimed responsibility. Carlos said in the interview the attack secured the release of Yutaka Furuya in exchange for the hostages in The Hague. - Jan 13/19, 1975: Two bazooka attacks against Israeli airline El Al at Paris's Orly airport. - June 27, 1975: During an attempt to arrest Carlos in a Paris apartment, he shoots dead two French police officers and former comrade turned informer, Lebanese Michel Moukharbal. In 1992, Carlos was sentenced in his absence to life imprisonment for the killings. - Dec 21, 1975: A commando led by Carlos takes 70 OPEC members, including 11 ministers hostage at a conference in Vienna. Three people were killed, the commando flew to safety and received 50 million dollars ransom. - July 20, 1981: Romanian journalist working for "Radio Free Europe" stabbed to death in Munich by a man speaking with a French accent. - Sept 4, 1981: French ambassador in Beirut, Louis Delamare, shot dead in his car. Carlos suspected of involvement. - March 29, 1982: A bomb kills five people on a Toulouse-Paris train which then mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, was scheduled to take. The bomb followed an ultimatum issued by Carlos after the arrest of two comrades, Swiss Bruno Breguet and German Magdalena Kopp, charged with possessing arms. - April 22, 1982: A car bomb explodes outside the magazine Al Watan Al Arabi in Paris, killing one and injuring 63, the same day the trial of Kopp and Breguet opened. - Aug 25, 1983: A bomb outside the French cultural center in Berlin kills one and injures 23. - Dec 31, 1983: Two bombs explode in Marseille. One killed three and injured 19 on a train to Paris, the other exploded in a station in Marseille, killing two and injuring 34. There were several claims of responsibility, including one from the Organization for the Armed Arab Struggle, a group linked to Carlos. - Jan 1, 1984: A bomb explodes in the French cultural center in Tripoli, Lebanon. The Organization for the Armed Arab Struggle claimed responsibility. - June 1, 1992: Carlos sentenced in his absence to life imprisonment in France. - Aug 15, 1994: Carlos captured in Sudan and brought to Paris. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Carlos The Jackal' convicted, sentenced to life in prison December 23, 1997 Web posted at: 7:46 p.m. EST (0046 GMT) PARIS (CNN) -- A French jury convicted Carlos "The Jackal" of murder Tuesday after the defendant gave a rambling, three-hour harangue in which he said "there is no law for me." A judge sentenced him to life in prison. "When one wages war for 30 years, there is a lot of blood spilled -- mine and others," the defendant said. "But we never killed anyone for money, but for a cause -- the liberation of Palestine." The 48-year-old Venezuelan revolutionary, who was born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was charged with shooting to death two French secret agents and a pro-Palestinian Lebanese turned informer. He is also blamed for more than 80 killings and hundreds of injuries around the world during the 1970s and early 1980s. Prosecutor Gino Necchi argued Monday that the evidence "fully supports" a guilty verdict and urged the jury to send Carlos to prison for the rest of his life. In his final plea, Ramirez, who defended himself, stuck to the theme he has sounded throughout the trial: that he is a political combatant with a "love of revolution and love of justice." 'I am a political prisoner' "The Jackal" "I am a political prisoner," the dapper, graying militant said, reading confidently from notes. Carlos, who was captured in Sudan in 1994 after two decades on the run and smuggled to France in a sack, was retried for the three 1975 killings after receiving a life sentence in his absence five years ago. He spoke at length Tuesday about the Palestinian cause, for which he fought for many years, calling it "a worldwide war and a war the world will win," and condemning Israel as a "terrorist nation." During the trial -- held before a nine-person jury and three judges -- Ramirez often referred to his arrest and imprisonment as a "Zionist plot" and said the 1975 killings were orchestrated by the Mossad, the Israeli secret service. Once a star among international guerrillas and feared as a terrorist mastermind, Carlos now looks more like a smartly-dressed middle-aged executive. He is widely accused of carrying out the 1975 seizure of OPEC oil ministers and was involved in the 1976 Palestinian hijacking of a French jetliner to Entebbe, Uganda, which ended with an Israeli commando raid. He has proudly claimed "moral responsibility" for all the attacks of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), but has neither denied nor claimed the killings for which he is now on trial. Eyewitnesses didn't testify Police say three eyewitnesses described Carlos' role in the shootings to them within hours of the event, although none of the three could be found for the trial. Key dates in the life of 'Carlos the Jackal' 1949: Ilich Ramirez Sanchez born in Venezuela to wealthy communist lawyer, who gave his son Lenin's middle name. ___________________________________________ 1964: Joins Communist Students Movement in Venezuela. Goes for guerrilla training in Cuba. ___________________________________________ 1968: Begins study at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, famous as training ground for future terrorists and KGB recruits. ___________________________________________ 1970: Joins the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Begins terrorist career. ___________________________________________ 1970-1982: Key attacks linked to Carlos include massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics, seizing OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, hijacking of Air France plane to Entebbe, half-a-dozen attacks on French targets. ___________________________________________ 1992: Convicted by a French court in absentia for 1975 killing of two French counterintelligence agents and Lebanese citizen. ___________________________________________ 1994: Carlos arrested in Sudan. Transferred to France where he jailed in solitary confinement in maximum-security prison. ___________________________________________ 1997: Carlos stands trial for the 1975 killing of the French counterintelligence agents and the Lebanese citizen. French law requires retrial upon repatriation. The prosecution said Carlos boasted of the killings in letters to several friends, in a newspaper interview, in a telephone conversation with an associate who later wrote about their chat in a book, and in conversations with diplomats seized during his most daring escapade -- the kidnapping of the 11 oil ministers in 1975. Prosecutors' evidence has included fingerprints on a whiskey bottle and glasses at the apartment; fingerprints on a postcard addressed to a Venezuelan friend of Ramirez; and accounts of conversations from his former friends and lovers. Prosecutor Gino Necchi asked for a life sentence because the victims -- inspectors Raymond Dous and Jean Donatini, and Michel Moukharbal, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- were unarmed. But Olivier Maudrut, Carlos' lawyer, questioned why the court has heard 22-year-old depositions rather than the witnesses, and why only a photograph was displayed of a key letter said to be in Carlos' handwriting. In that letter, prosecutors said, he wrote of how Moukharbal betrayed him and was then sent "to a better world." "A person cannot be condemned to life in prison based on a photocopy," Maudret said. Suspected in 3 other bombings At times angry and brimming with hate, at other times cracking jokes and poking fun at himself, Carlos took an active role in his own defense during the eight-day trial, frequently jumping to his feet with a sarcastic remark or to question a witness in his Spanish-accented French. Carlos' current trial is likely to be only the first step on a long judicial path. French anti-terror magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere is investigating him for three Paris bombings that killed five people in 1974 and 1982, a 1983 bombing that killed five in Marseille's train station and two attacks on French trains in which seven people died in 1982 and 1983. He is also wanted in Germany for the bombing of Berlin's French cultural center, and in Austria for the 1975 kidnapping of the 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna. Reuters contributed to this report. ) 1997 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 12:58:01 PDT