Accused of killing 11 people in four bombings in 1980s France, Carlos Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, went on trial in November in Paris. The trial is expected to end on Dec 16. The accused, who masterminded a wave of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East in the 1970s and 1980s, denies the charges. He faces a second life sentence in prison if convicted. He was sentenced to life in 1997 by a French court for killing two police officers and an informant in 1975.
Three suspected accomplices in the bombings will be tried in absentia. Carlos was arrested in Sudan in 1994 and transferred to France, where he has since been held in various jails. He has been behind bars for 17 years. The attacks on two trains and a newspaper office in 1982 and 1983 killed 11 people and also wounded at least 140. Prosecutors allege that he had a deeply personal motive in the two 1982 attacks as he was trying to force the French to free his jailed girlfriend, Magdalena Kopp, and an associate, Bruno Breguet. His exploits --- fictionalized and factual -- have been immortalized in films in mini-series and books. Ramírez Sánchez joined the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1970, when recruiting officer Bassam Abu Sharif gave him the code name Carlos due to his South American roots. He achieved notoriety for a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, which killed three people, and a string of attacks on Western targets that followed. Blamed for some 80 deaths and hundreds of injuries, he was among the most wanted international fugitives for many years. (WRITTEN Nov 2011)
Date written/update: 2011-12-16