Venezuela denounces 'Carlos the Jackal' trial as illegal

11th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Venezuela's attorney general denounced as "illegal" Friday a trial in France of jailed Venezuelan militant Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as "Carlos the Jackal."

Attorney General Carlos Escarra said Ramirez's kidnapping from Sudan in 1994 by French secret service agents had placed all subsequent legal proceedings outside the law.

"At the moment they kidnapped him, everything from that point forward is illegal," Escarra said in an interview with state-run VTV television.

Ramirez, 62, burst onto the world stage in 1975 by taking OPEC oil ministers hostage at a meeting in Vienna. He went on trial in Paris Monday for a string of bombings in France in the 1980s that killed 11 people and wounded 150.

He was convicted in 1997 of the murders of a civilian and two policemen in France and was sentenced to life in prison.

Carlos the Jackal has boasted in a newspaper interview 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.

Despite his notoriety, Ramirez has drawn the support of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who praised him this week as a "worthy heir of the greatest struggles... on behalf of the people and social justice."

Echoing Chavez, Escarra defended Ramirez as "someone who fights for his ideas" in favor of the Palestinian people.

© 2011 AFP

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