One of the world’s most notorious terrorists, Carlos the Jackal, has arrived in court in Paris for the start of his trial.
Born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan – already serving a life sentence after his capture nearly two decades ago – faces charges he was behind a series of urban bombings in France in the early 1980’s. Eleven people were killed, more than 100 injured.
He is expected to plead not guilty before a seven-judge terrorism panel. “I am really in a combative mood,” he told Europe 1 radio in an interview.
A victim of the bombing campaign, Phillipe Rouault, says he has been hoping for this day for many years.
“We have been waiting for 30 years for this. I was a victim of the Rue Marbeuf bomb on April 22 1982 and for us, all the victims, it is an important day. We hope that he will speak and explain things and that he will have a little gesture of sympathy to the victims,” he explained.
Prosecutors say the bombings in the early 1980s were Ramirez’s response to police capturing two of his gang.
His defence claim the trial is a sham and says it is based on questionable evidence provided by state secret service agencies – mainly in Eastern Europe.
The trial will run until December 16.