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Paris court upholds life sentence for ‘Carlos the Jackal’ in 1974 grenade attack

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Carlos the Jackal, the Venezuelan leftist militant who carried out attacks across the globe in the 1970s and 1980s, had the life sentence he had been given for a deadly grenade attack on a Paris shop in 1974 confirmed on Thursday, the Paris Prosecutor’s Office said.

Following hearings that began on Wednesday, a special criminal court in Paris confirmed the life sentence for a 1974 grenade attack on the Publicis Drugstore, an upmarket shopping centre in the French capital. 

Carlos, who carried out several attacks in support of the Palestinian cause, was the chief suspect in the hijacking of a 1976 French flight to Uganda that ended with an Israeli commando raid. He was also suspected of involvement in the 1981 bombing of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty‘s then headquarters in Munich that left five people wounded. Communist secret police archives opened after the Soviet Union fell in 1989 suggested that Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the attack.

Carlos was convicted of murder in 2017 and sentenced to life in prison, a verdict that was upheld on appeal. But in 2019, France’s highest court sent the case back to court to reconsider his sentence, saying he should not have been convicted of both carrying and using a grenade because it amounted to being convicted twice of the same offence.

The self-styled revolutionary, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has been behind bars in France since 1994 when French police caught up with him in Sudan after two decades on the run.

Carlos, now 71, is serving separate life sentences over the 1975 murders of two French policemen and a police informer, as well as for a series of bombings in Paris and Marseille in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and left dozens injured.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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