Once the world's most-sought fugitive, the political terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal" appeared in a court in Paris on Monday, accused of a 1974 attack in the city.

The 67-year-old Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, allegedly hurled a grenade into a restaurant in the Saint-Germain district, killing two people and injuring 34.

Addressing the court, Ramirez described himself as a "professional revolutionary."

He denied the charges against him and spoke of a "Zionist plot" while describing the plaintiffs, represented by a victims' association, as "vultures."

Ramirez masterminded several high-profile attacks against Western targets during the Cold War, including a deadly 1975 hostage-taking at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.

The pro-Palestinian guerrilla is already serving two life sentences for his part in a string of bomb attacks that killed 11 people in 1982-83 and for the killing of two French police agents and a Lebanese informant in 1975.

He has been imprisoned in France since his arrest in Sudan in 1994.

His latest trial, which is expected to last three weeks, is proving problematic for the prosecution due to the length of time that has passed since the 1974 attack. Some of the witnesses are not fit to give testimony or are no longer alive.

Born in Caracas in 1949 to a wealthy Marxist lawyer, Ramirez studied in Moscow and then moved to Lebanon, where he fell in with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

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