Verges 'offered to be go-between with the Jackal'

JACQUES VERGES, the controversial French lawyer representing the terrorist Carlos, made direct approaches to the French government in 1982, offering to mediate between France and the terrorist, according to reports published yesterday. Le Monde published information - confirmed by the officials involved - that Mr Verges had approached the government in 1982 and had offered to act as a liaison.

But Mr Verges said he planned to sue Le Monde. 'I've read the articles in Le Monde today,' he said in a television interview yesterday. 'I intend to bring defamation charges against Le Monde, because enough is enough.'

According to Stasi documents seen by Le Monde's Berlin correspondent, Mr Verges was given dollars 5,000 in 1982 by a German associate of Carlos, apparently part of his fee for defending Magdalena Kopp, a German who was later to marry Carlos, and Bruno Breguet, a Swiss. They were tried in Paris that year for possession of explosives. A series of bomb attacks in France were aimed at obtaining their release.

Mr Verges, who specialises in defending unpopular causes - he has handled a number of terrorist cases and was counsel in 1987 for Klaus Barbie, the Nazi police chief in Lyons - said on Wednesday that the Stasi documents amounted to 'disinformation'. Later he said that it was a question of 'vice (the Stasi) attacking virtue', meaning himself.

The German authorities have sent the documents to Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the examining magistrate handling the Carlos case. Carlos, responsible for the 1975 kidnapping of oil ministers from an Opec conference in Vienna, was charged on Tuesday for a Paris bombing on the day the Kopp- Breguet trial opened in 1982.

The Justice Ministry yesterday gave the go-ahead for charges to be preferred for three other bomb attacks in 1982 and 1983, causing a total of 10 deaths. One attack ripped open a carriage on a Paris- Toulouse express. Another hit a high-speed train, while the third exploded in the main railway station in Marseilles.

In addition Carlos, 44, was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by a French court two years ago, for killing two officers of the DST counter-espionage service in Paris in 1975.

The 1982 bombings occurred after a threat was received in the French embassy in The Hague addressed to Gaston Defferre, then the Socialist interior minister.

Roland Kessous, a member of Defferre's staff, yesterday confirmed the substance of Le Monde's report about Mr Verges' role. Mr Verges had 'raised the possibility of direct contacts with Carlos, explaining that he could pass him a message', Mr Kessous said. Le Monde said the Stasi documents, containing copious notes by Johannes Weinrich, described as a 'lieutenant' of Carlos, did not indicate that Mr Verges had actually met the Venezuelan terrorist.

Louis Joinet, a member of the staff of Pierre Mauroy, who was prime minister in 1982, said Mr Verges had told Mauroy's office that France did not take threats by Carlos seriously enough. Mr Joinet said Mr Verges told him he communicated with Carlos through coded small advertisements in the daily Le Matin de Paris. He said he was not convinced that Mr Verges was serious and broke contact with him. The Stasi archives suggested Mr Joinet had approached Jean- Louis Debre, the examining magistrate for the Kopp-Breguet affair, to ask him to be lenient with the pair. Mr Debre is now the assistant secretary-general and main spokesman of the Gaullist RPR party.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
  • Get to the point
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: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor