French prosecutors seek life for Carlos the Jackal

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 13, 2011 5:49 PM
French prosecutors seek life for Carlos the Jackal

PARIS (Reuters) - French prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a second life sentence for the veteran Marxist militant Carlos the Jackal for carrying out four bomb attacks in France in the early 1980s that killed 11 people and injured nearly 200.

The Venezuelan-born 62-year-old, one of a generation of urban guerrillas who wrought havoc in the 1970s and 1980s with attacks on establishment figures and institutions, is already serving a life sentence for killing two police officers and an informant in Paris in 1975.

At the end of his latest, month-long trial, lawyers recommended he serve a minimum 18 years, arguing that the self-styled revolutionary fighter was a danger to the public.

"I have noted that Ilich Ramirez's clear intention to get rid of anyone who stands in his way and by whatever means necessary," said prosecuting lawyer Jean-Francois Ricard.

"He told you he hadn't changed, that he is still a professional revolutionary."

Ramirez's defense lawyers are expected to call for acquittal. The seven judges at the special terrorism court will deliver their verdict on Thursday or Friday.

Ramirez is perhaps best known for taking OPEC leaders hostage in an attack on the oil cartel's headquarters in Vienna in 1975. With backing from Soviet bloc and Middle Eastern countries, he also staged attacks in France, Britain and Germany.

After a period living in Syria in the 1990s, Ramirez moved to Sudan, where he was captured in 1994 by French special forces. In 1997 he was sentenced to life imprisonment in France.

Prosecutors on Tuesday also called for life sentences for two of Ramirez's co-defendants who were tried in absentia. One of them, 68-year-old Palestinian Ali Kamal al Assawi, is a fugitive, and the other, 64-year-old German Johannes Weinrich, is serving a prison sentence in Germany.

They also asked for a 15-year sentence for a third co-defendant, the German Margot Froehlich, who fled France in 2001.

(Reporting By Thierry Leveque; Writing By Vicky Buffery; Editing by Kevin Liffey)