Trial of 'celebrity terrorist' Carlos the Jackal starts in confusion in Paris

 

Paris

The 1970s “celebrity terrorist” Ilich Ramirez Sanchez – better known as “Carlos the Jackal” – complained on Monday that the Venezuelan government was trying to sabotage his appeal against life imprisonment in France.

Sanchez, 63, had counted on the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, to finance his six weeks long appeal hearing which has begun in Paris. He told the court that he had no money and he had been forced to order his large defence team to stay at home.

Sanchez, the symbol of a “cool but cruel” middle class international terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s, has been in jail in France since he was kidnapped by French agents in Sudan in 1994. He was convicted in 1997 of killing two French policemen and an informer. He was given a second life sentence in 2011 for organising four terrorist attacks in France in the early 1980s in which 11 people died.

On the first day of his appeal hearing on Monday, he asked the court to appoint “duty lawyers” at the expense of the French taxpayer. “They won’t know the arguments but I know them well,” he said. “It won’t help my defence but we will muddle along.”

After a brief adjournment, the court accepted his request. Sanchez nodded and said: “A blonde and a brunette, please”.

In 2001 he “married” one of his French lawyers Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, , in an Islamic ceremony which has no status under French law. Ms Coutant-Peyre complained on Monday that the new government in Venezuela was taking an obstructive approach since President Chavez – a publicly declared Jackal admirer – had died in March. 

From the early 1970s, Sanchez, the son of wealthy, left-wing Venezuelan family, became the symbol of  rootless, middle class terrorism, allied to the Palestinian cause and allegedly sponsored by the Soviet Union. On 21 December, 1975, he led an attack on a meeting in Vienna of the oil producing cartel Opec in which 70 senior politicians and officials were taken hostage.  

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there