Carlos the Jackal's Lawyer Seeks Venezuelan Backing
A lawyer for the notorious Venezuelan militant Carlos the Jackal is in Caracas seeking President Nicolas Maduro's backing in an appeal against his client's conviction starting Monday in Paris.
Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was found guilty in France two years ago of a series of bombings that killed 11 people and wounded around 150 others between 1982-1983.
His lawyer, Frenchwoman Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who is also his wife, is in the Venezuelan capital to try and garner support from Maduro and other senior government officials, Ramirez's brother Vladimir told Agence France Presse by telephone.
Coutant-Peyre is there "to see if we can contact the foreign ministry, the presidency and state officials," before the legal case commences, the renowned hitman's brother said. The case is expected to last until the end of June.
Coutant-Peyre intends to complain to the Venezuelan authorities that her husband has received no support from his native country's consular officials in France.
Carlos was sentenced in December 2011 to life in jail, with a minimum of 18 years before parole, for four deadly attacks which prosecutors said were part of a private war he had waged against France to free two comrades.
Carlos first rose to prominence in 1975 when his commando group burst into the conference room where ministers from the powerful OPEC oil cartel were meeting in Vienna, taking 11 people hostage.
He was arrested in Sudan in 1994 and transferred to France, where he has since been held in various jails. In 1997 he was convicted of the 1975 murder of a civilian and two policemen, and jailed for life.
Carlos has boasted in newspaper interviews of carrying out more than 100 attacks as the leader of a militant gang that operated in Europe on behalf of Warsaw Pact intelligence agencies and militant Palestinian groups.
The series of attacks in France began with the bombing of the express train "Le Capitole" on March 29, 1982, which was running from Paris to the southern city of Toulouse. Five died in the attack and 28 were wounded.