Judgment Day of the Jackal

  • Share
  • Read Later
PARIS: The trial ended the way it began with extravagant outbursts of rhetoric. "Viva la revolucion!" shouted Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as Carlos the Jackal, as he raised his left arm in retro-revolutionary defiance. And, as trial-watchers have come to expect, that wasn't all. Asking for a microphone so he could play to supporters who had packed the courtroom, Carlos went on to denounce the "McDonalds-ization of humanity," and placed himself on "the side of civilization" against "world Zionism" and the omnipotent American demon.

In all the excitement, you could have been forgiven for forgetting that Carlos had just been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of two French secret service agents and a Lebanese fellow revolutionary. Or that the evidence the prosecution had managed to stack up against him was minimal, to say the least: Fingerprints on a whiskey bottle was about the closest they came to placing him at the crime scene.

Not to worry. Carlos is likely to spend the rest of his prison-bound life being convicted of other, deadlier crimes: The bombing of Berlin's French cultural center, and the 1975 kidnapping of 11 OPEC cabinet ministers in Vienna, to name just two. So, as nostalgic revolutionaries everywhere will be pleased to know, this is not the last we have seen of the Jackal's courtroom swagger.