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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Jackal ally tried for Opec kidnap
Carlos the Jackal, alias Ilich Ramirez Sanchez
Carlos the Jackal allegedly masterminded the kidnapping
A man has gone on trial in the German city of Frankfurt for his part in the kidnapping of 11 Opec oil ministers in Vienna in 1975.

The accused, Hans-Joachim Klein, admits taking part in the operation, in which three people were killed, but denies charges of murder and attempted murder.

German ex-terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein on trial in Frankfurt
Mr Klein was wounded in the kidnapping
After the Vienna attack, Mr Klein escaped to Algeria with the rest of the gang, led by the notorious Carlos the Jackal, alias Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, who is now in jail in France.

Mr Klein was arrested two years ago in a small village in Normandy, where he had been living under a false name.

'Libyan hand'

German investigators learned of his presence there after he gave interviews to French and German newspapers.

German ex-terrorist Rudolf Schindler
Rudolf Schindler is also accused of murder in the attack
Another man, Rudolf Schindler, is being tried as an accessory in the raid.

Mr Klein's lawyer, Eberhard Kempf, said that his client planned to allege that Libya was behind the seizure.

The group, which called itself the Arm of the Arab Revolution, justified their action by saying that the United Nations Security Council was about to recognise "the legality of Zionist existence on Palestinian land".

Repentence

Two years after the Opec attack, Mr Klein renounced terrorism in a letter to the German magazine Der Spiegel, calling it inhumane and senseless.

He is reported to have included a pistol with his letter as a token of good faith.

Mr Klein was a member of the Revolutionary Cells, one of several radical groups that gained notoriety in Germany in the 1970s.

His political comrades at the time included Joschka Fischer, who is now Germany's foreign minister, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a member of the European Parliament.

Mr Cohn-Bendit admitted after Klein's arrest that he had known his whereabouts and helped him with money.

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See also:

17 Jan 00 | Europe
Jackal's ally gets life
17 Jul 99 | Americas
Carlos the columnist
24 Dec 97 | Europe
Carlos the Jackal jailed for life
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