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Carlos the Jackal in court for last time

Ilich Ramirez Sanchez will appeal his third life sentence. He received the punishment for a 1974 bombing in Paris that killed two people. The terrorist has used previous court appearances as a personal stage.

In what will be his last chance in court, on Monday the terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as "Carlos the Jackal," was to appeal the life sentence he received last year for a 1974 Paris bombing.

Francis Vuillemin, Sanchez's longtime lawyer along with Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, who is now his partner, said Sanchez would be asking for an acquittal.

Read more: Opinion: We can't let the terrorists win

The Venezuela-born Sanchez, 68, has denied responsibility for the attack at the Publicis Drugstore at Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris' Left Bank, which left two dead and 34 injured when a grenade was thrown from the mezzanine restaurant into the crowded gallery below.

The sentence was Sanchez's third life term. He is already serving two life sentences for his role in attacks that left 11 people dead in 1982-83.

He became one of the world's most notorious fugitives in the 1970s and '80s, after he carried out a number of pro-Palestinian attacks.

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Though no DNA or fingerprints were found after the bombing, judges determined that all evidence pointed to Sanchez.

 "There are incredible weaknesses in this case: witnesses manipulated by the security services, liars, fake evidence," Vuillemin said.

Read more: Opinion: Vive la France!

At the start of Sanchez's trial in 2017, he bragged that: "No one in the Palestinian resistance has executed more people than I have."

Sanchez was reported to have claimed responsibility for the attack in a 1979 interview with the Arabic-language French news magazine Al Watan Al Arabi, but he says he never gave the interview.

Carlos arrives at the Criminal Court of the Palais de Justice in Paris

Sanchez arrives at the Criminal Court of the Palais de Justice in Paris in 2013

Prosecutors have said the Publicis Drugstore bombing was one of several attacks intended to pressure French authorities to free a member of the Japanese Red Army who had been arrested at Orly airport.

The Japanese Red Army was aligned with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, of which Sanchez had become one of the main operatives in Europe.

The case took so long to go to trial because it was first dismissed for lack of evidence before being reopened when Sanchez was arrested and imprisoned in France. His lawyers continued to introduce challenges throughout the proceedings.

Sanchez's nickname came from a fictional terrorist in the 1971 Frederick Forsyth novel, The Day of the Jackal.

law/rt (AFP, AP)

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