Carlos the Jackal appeals French life term

Reuters News
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Posted: May 13, 2013 8:21 AM
Carlos the Jackal appeals French life term

PARIS (Reuters) - Carlos the Jackal, the Marxist militant once ranked among the world's most wanted criminals, launched an appeal on Monday against a life sentence for bomb attacks that killed 11 people three decades ago.

The Venezuelan defendant, 63, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has been locked up in France for almost 20 years serving an initial life sentence in a separate case for killing two police officers and an informant in Paris in 1975.

The Paris hearing was suspended as Ramirez demanded new lawyers and accused the Venezuelan state of seeking to sabotage his defense by not supplying promised financial support for his existing legal team.

"We've no funds, my lawyers shouldn't have to pay their expenses out of their own pockets," he said.

When the court agreed to provide him with two lawyers funded by the French state, a laughing Ramirez called out "one blonde, one brunette" - a remark for which he was rebuked by the court president.

Former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who died in March, was an ardent supporter of the man who calls himself a "professional revolutionary" but it is not known whether he provided him with financial backing.

Ramirez, dressed in a white shirt and black suit, has denied any specific involvement in four bombings in 1982 and 1983 on a Paris street, two trains and a Marseille train station that wounded nearly 200 people and killed t 11 dead.

Prosecutors at his 2011 trial said the bombings were Ramirez's answer to the police seizure of two of his gang, including his lover.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Mark John; Editing by Angus MacSwan)