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Caroline Wyatt reports for BBC News
"The bombing in Berlin was a revenge attack"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 January, 2000, 10:27 GMT
Jackal's ally gets life

Carlos the Jackal Carlos is serving life for three murders


A man thought to have been the closest ally of terrorist Carlos the Jackal has been jailed for life by a German court.

Johannes Weinrich, 52, was convicted of murder in the bombing of a French cultural centre in Berlin in 1983 which left one person dead and 23 injured.

The prosecution said he organised the attack in revenge for the imprisonment of Carlos' German girlfriend Magdalena Kopp and a French member of the gang, Bruno Breguet.


Johannes Weinrich Mr Weinrich allegedly smuggled explosives from Romania

State prosecutor Detlev Mehlis described the attack as "unsurpassed in its irresponsibility, evilness and cowardliness," and, "one of the clearest cases of terrorism."

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Carlos gang was alleged to have carried out a series of bombings, kidnappings and hijackings in support of the Palestinian cause.

Venezuelan-born Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez-Sanchez, is serving life in France for three murder convictions.

Explosives

Weinrich denied charges of murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives for the 1983 attack.

But he rarely spoke during the trial, which began in 1996, and he refused to testify in his own defence.

The prosecution said he brought 24kg of explosives into east Berlin from Romania in May 1982.

The material was allegedly stored at the Syrian Embassy with the full knowledge of the East German secret police.

Nabil Shrita, a Syrian diplomat at the time, said he returned the explosives to Mr Weinrich on the morning of the 25 August, the day of the attack.

Another member of the Carlos gang, who arrived from Damascus, is said to have placed the bomb on the fourth floor of the building.

Bazooka attack

Weinrich was arrested in 1994 in Yemen and extradited to Germany the following year.

He is believed to have taken part in other attacks by the Carlos gang, including an assault with a bazooka against an Israeli plane at the Paris airport of Orly in 1975.

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See also:
24 Dec 97 |  World
Carlos the Jackal - three decades of crime
16 Dec 99 |  Europe
Austria denied Jackal trial
23 Jun 99 |  Europe
Carlos the Jackal appeal denied
30 Apr 99 |  Americas
Venezuela to probe Carlos capture
24 Nov 98 |  Europe
Carlos the Jackal ends hunger strike
24 Dec 97 |  Europe
Carlos the Jackal jailed for life

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