Forty-seven years after the Drugstore Publicis attack, which left two dead and 34 injured in 1974, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, said Carlos, 71, was again sentenced, this Thursday, in Paris to life imprisonment .
After more than two hours of deliberation, the special assize court, which only ruled on the length of the sentence, confirmed the sentence to life imprisonment, already handed down twice against Carlos in this case. 47 years old.
"Thank you very much", replied from the box, in a neutral voice, this figure of "anti-imperialist" terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s. Before the court withdrew to deliberate, he said he was "proud of his revolutionary journey", delighting to reiterate that he had "killed 83 people, at least", but reluctant to explain himself on the case. Drugstore, a "rough manipulation" according to him. "This positioning, despite his age and long years in detention" convinced the court to condemn Carlos to the maximum penalty, in order to "preserve" any risk of repetition, motivated the professional magistrates.
The court followed the requisitions of the attorney general, Rémi Crosson du Cormier, who had demanded the "supreme sanction", at the height of the "seriousness of the facts".
Carlos was sentenced in March 2017 to life imprisonment for throwing a grenade in the shopping arcade of the Parisian department store, a sentence confirmed a year later on appeal.
While maintaining the guilty verdict of the "Jackal" in the attack which left two dead and 34 wounded in 1974, the Court of Cassation ordered a third trial in November 2019, dealing only with the quantum of the sentence.
Carlos' lawyer, Isabelle Coutant Peyre, denounced the absurdity of this "false trial", also protesting against the "unreasonable delay" of the procedure. "I (him) advised not" to appeal in cassation, responded Me Coutant Peyre, at the end of the deliberation. "It is up to Venezuela to make a request to the French state for his transfer," she said. Imprisoned in France since his arrest in Sudan in 1994, Carlos is serving two other life sentences, for a triple murder in 1975 in Paris and for four bombings committed in France in 1982 and 1983 (11 dead and 191 injured ). The judgment of the Assize Court "will be historic only in the sense that it will put an end to the long legal course of the one who has been imprisoned for twenty-seven years", estimated the Advocate General.
White hair and mustache, neck scarf and pocket slipped into his jacket, apparent watch on the wrist, Carlos treated his last appearance before an assize court.
But the aging “professional revolutionary” only performed in front of a handful of supporters, to whom he glanced, kissed and raised fist.
The one who sometimes indulged in long monologues in the courtrooms spoke last, as is customary, for only 13 minutes, vilifying a case "prescribed, without witnesses".
During the two days of the hearing, he was sometimes smiling, sometimes cursing the search of his personal effects or the "theft of (his) pens", deeming it "unacceptable".
“Before there was order and respect,” he lost his temper.
A trial without DNA or confessions
The Drugstore Publicis attack took place on September 15, 1974 in Paris, around 5:10 p.m.: a grenade thrown by a man from the Drugstore mezzanine restaurant had exploded in the shopping arcade below, at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and rue de Rennes. Without DNA or confession, justice validated the thesis of the prosecution, according to which this attack aimed to facilitate the release of a Japanese arrested in Orly, a member of the Japanese Red Army which a commando had also just demanded liberation during a hostage-taking at the French Embassy in The Hague.
This movement was close to a branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) of which Carlos had become one of the armed groups in Europe.
Carlos had been convicted on the basis of a body of evidence, including the testimony of a former comrade in arms repented, Hans Joachim Klein, but also the reconciliation of the grenade used at the Drugstore with those abandoned after the taking of hostages of The Hague.
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