Trial Begins in France of “Carlos the Jackal” for Four Attacks in 1980s

By Dialogo
November 08, 2011

The Venezuelan Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, alias “Carlos the Jackal,” went on trial on November 7 in a special court in Paris for four “acts of terrorism” committed in France in the 1980s that left 11 dead and more than 140 injured.

After stating his identity, birthplace, and age for the court, upon being asked about his profession, “Carlos” described himself as a “professional revolutionary.”

“Carlos the Jackal” is accused of complicity in murder and destruction of property using explosives in connection with four attacks perpetrated in France in 1982 and 1983, with the objective, according to the charges, of obtaining the release of two comrades in arms, the Swiss Bruno Breguet and the German Magdalena Kopp, his romantic partner at the time, both of whom had been detained in Paris and sentenced to several years in prison.

The trial, expected to last until December 16 and at which he will be defended by Isabelle Coutant Peyre – his current romantic partner – and Francis Vuillemin, opened in a packed courtroom and amid significant security measures.

On March 29, 1982, a car bomb went off in the “Le Capitole” train from Paris to Toulouse, resulting in five deaths and injuring 28.

On April 22, another car bomb exploded on Paris’s Rue Marbeuf, outside the offices of the Arabic-language daily Al Watan Al Arabi, known for its opposition to the Syrian regime, causing one death and injuring 60.

On December 31, 1983, a suitcase exploded in a car of the high-speed train from Marseilles to Paris, causing three deaths and injuring 13.

And minutes later, another explosive destroyed the luggage storage room at the Saint-Charles train station in Marseilles (in southern France), resulting in two deaths and injuring 34.

Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, born in Caracas on October 12, 1949, and who became a legendary figure of the armed struggle on behalf of the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, was sentenced to life in prison in France in 1997 for the murder of two police officers and an informant in Paris in 1975.