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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Unbowed Carlos Meets His Captors

PARIS -- Guerrilla mastermind "Carlos the Jackal," facing his captors with a joke after two decades on the run, took a first step towards trial in France on Tuesday when a judge ordered him held in connection with a 1982 Paris bombing.


Anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere formally remanded Carlos in custody, placing him under investigation for the bomb attack which killed one person -- one of a string of attacks that brought him an almost mythical notoriety.


A lawyer for Venezuelan-born Carlos said he had been drugged and abducted from Sudan in a shadowy deal between Paris and Khartoum involving cash.


The French government has denied any tradeoffs in catching one of the world's most wanted men, who has been linked to some of the most spectacular guerrilla coups including the 1975 kidnapping of 11 ministers attending an OPEC meeting in Vienna.


Carlos, already facing a life sentence in France, seemed anything but cowed in his first public appearance.


An acknowledged master of disguise, he appeared before the magistrate with cropped grey hair and a moustache, wearing a purple jacket, white shirt and trousers.


When the judge came out of his office to greet him, Carlos said in French: "There he is, this is the judge, how are you?"


"And you?" the judge asked.


"I'm still alive, and for a long time," Carlos replied. Turning to escorting gendarmes, he said of the judge: "He's a star." Carlos and Bruguiere's meeting lasted about two hours.


Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, has hired flamboyant French lawyer Jacques Verges.


Verges defended the late Lyons Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie and Carlos' girlfriend, Magdalena Kopp, in the 1980s. Kopp was a member of Germany's notorious Red Army Faction and was released from jail in France in 1985.


Verges told reporters he would discuss the defense strategy with Carlos later Tuesday. "I want to know what happened. I don't know him and I want to get to know him," Verges said.


Mourad Oussedik, another lawyer acting for Carlos, told reporters he had been kidnapped from Sudan in a shadowy deal between Paris and Khartoum.


"There was a deal between the French and Sudanese governments. Carlos was betrayed and sold for a sum much bigger than 30 pieces of silver," he said. "It was a kidnapping worthy of a thriller."


French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua earlier denied a newspaper report that there had been a deal with Sudan. "There were no tradeoffs," he told French radio.


Carlos, born in 1949 or 1950, was sentenced in his absence to life in prison last year for killing two counterintelligence agents. Paris say he is responsible for at least 15 deaths in the city.Initially held in La Sante prison, Carlos was whisked to the Palais de Justice courthouse in a police van and through an underground passage for his first date with justice.