Paris court upholds life sentence for “Carlos the jackal” in 1974 grenade attack


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Carlos le Chacal, the Venezuelan left-wing activist who carried out attacks around the world in the 1970s and 1980s, had his life sentence handed down for a deadly grenade attack on a Parisian store in 1974 confirmed on Thursday, announced the Paris prosecutor’s office.

At the end of hearings opened on Wednesday, an exceptional criminal court in Paris upheld the life sentence for a 1974 grenade attack against the Publicis Drugstore, an upscale shopping center in the French capital.

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Carlos, who carried out several attacks in favor of the Palestinian cause, was the prime suspect in the hijacking of a 1976 French flight to Uganda that ended in an Israeli commando raid. He was also suspected of having participated in the 1981 bombing of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s headquarters in Munich, which left five people injured. Communist secret police records opened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 suggest that Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the attack.

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Carlos was convicted of murder in 2017 and sentenced to life in prison, a verdict 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 found guilty of both carrying and using a grenade, because it amounted to being convicted twice for the same offense.

The so-called revolutionary, real name 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.

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