Trials And Tribulations

On Friday, December 12, 1997, Carlos was led into a courtroom in the Palais de Justice and placed in the dock.  Within minutes of the trials commencement, Carlos, charged formally as Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, demanded that the proceedings be abandoned on the grounds that he had been arrested illegally.  His pleas fell on deaf ears.  The trial ground on as the prosecution called a string of witnesses to give testimony to prove his involvement, not only in the Rue Toullier shooting but also the Marbeuf bombing.  Carlos aided by several attorneys attempted to counter the evidence as best he could but the evidence was overwhelming.

As the trial progressed, Carlos argued with his lawyers and hired others before eventually dismissing them all, including his chief counsel, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, the lawyer who had defended Magdelana Kopp fifteen years earlier.  When the last of his legal team had departed, Carlos was left to conduct his own defence.  Over the next eight days, Carlos tried every tactic he could think of to counter the prosecutions case asserting that the crimes that he stood accused of were crimes of war and he as a revolutionary had been merely another combatant in an International arena.

After a rambling closing statement that ran for four hours, Carlos ended his defence and the jury retired to consider their verdict.  On December 23, 1997, after three hours and forty-eight minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with their verdict, guilty on all counts, the sentence - life imprisonment.  Ironically, the death sentence that Carlos should have received for his crimes had been abolished years earlier by President Francois Mitterrand, the same man who had ordered his agents to find Carlos and kill him.

Carlos the prisoner

To this day Carlos is held in the maximum-security wing of Le Sante prison.  He is allowed few visitors and spends his time reading, writing and watching television.  There have been several stories relating to certain "special privileges" that he is supposedly receiving in prison but like much of his life, the myth seems greater than the truth. 

One thing is certain, the man who began life as Ilich Ramirez Sanchez and named himself Carlos the Jackal, is now known by a less flamboyant title.  In Le Sante he is known simply as "Detainee 872686/X" and probably will be for the rest of his life.  

1. First Strike

2. A Born Revolutionary

3. A Terrorist In Training

4. Mother Russia

5. A Popular Choice

6. Black September

7. Our Man In London

8. Carnage

9. Wrath of God

10. Campaign

11. Betrayal

12. "The Famous Carlos"

13. Terrorist For Hire

14. New Beginnings

15. One Man's War

16. Hunting The Jackal

17. A Fall From Grace

18. Taken By Force

19. Trials And Tribulations

20. Love and Death

21. Bibliography

22. The Author

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