Carlos the Jackal has already been convicted of three murders and is currently serving a life sentence in France, but the Venezuelan, who was once one of the most wanted figures of the Cold War, is again on trial. This time, it is for four bombings in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and injured 140 others.
The Jackal, whose real name is Carlos Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is a self-proclaimed professional revolutionary” who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He became an international fugitive in 1975 when he led an attack on OPEC leaders during a meeting in Vienna. His team of six took 60 hostages and demanded that Austrian authorities read a message about Palestine on the radio, or else a hostage would be killed every 15 minutes.
Three people were killed, including an Austrian policeman, an Iraqi OPEC employee, and a member of the Libyan delegation.
Ramirez also shot and killed two French policemen and a PFLP-member-turned-informant named Michel Moukharbal in 1975. He then fled France, heading first to Iraq and then East Germany, where he began working for the Stasi secret police.
“When one wages war for 30 years, there is a lot of blood spilled, mine and others. But we never killed anyone for money, but for a cause -- the liberation of Palestine, he said during his 1997 murder trial.
He was eventually captured in Sudan in 1994 and taken to Paris in a sack, according to CNN. He was tried in 1997 for three murders and sentenced to life in prison.
It was in East Germany that Ramirez is thought to have planned and executed the four bombings for which he is now on trial. The Jackal has been accused of bombing two French trains, the Paris office an Arab newspaper and a French cultural center in West Berlin.
Ramirez has denied responsibility for the bombings.
The trial is expected to take six weeks. Ramirez's lawyer and wife Isabelle Coutant-Peyre told reporters in Paris that there is no legitimate reason why he should go on trial now for 30-year-old attacks, and that prosecutors are using the trial for propaganda or some other interests rather than the ones of justice.