8 Nov 2011

Carlos the Jackal on trial in France

9:28 am on 8 November 2011

The international extremist known as Carlos the Jackal has gone on trial in Paris in connection with bomb attacks on trains in France in the 1980's that killed 11 people.

The Venezuelan whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is already serving a life sentence in France for the murder of two police officers in 1975.

He was captured by French special forces in Sudan in 1994.

The 62-year-old will appear before a panel of magistrates for a trial expected to last six weeks.

A BBC correspondent says he shook his fist in a revolutionary salute on seeing supporters in the public gallery.

Asked to give his job, he told the court he was a "professional revolutionary."

Prosecutors claim Sanchez carried out four bomb attacks to pressure the French authorities to release two of his accomplices.

Sanchez's lawyer and wife Isabelle Coutant-Peyre says he denies having anything to do with the bombings and will fiercely fight the charges.

If found guilty he could face another life prison sentence.