A Paris court on Monday sentenced self-styled professional revolutionary Carlos, known as "the Jackal," to life imprisonment for a 1974 grenade attack in Paris that killed two people.

The court determined that the 67-year-old Venezuelan, once Europe's most wanted man, was guilty of throwing a grenade into a busy shop and cafe, the Drugstore Saint-Germain, on the city's Left Bank.

Prosecutors had argued that he had carried out the attack to put pressure on the French government to yield to the demands of Japanese pro-Palestinian gunmen who were holding hostages at the French embassy in The Hague.

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is already serving two life sentences for other attacks going back to the 1970s and 1980s.

The judges accepted that the Paris attack was linked to the hostage-taking in the Hague and that the latter had been ordered by Carlos and a fellow-member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

They found that Carlos was linked directly to the Drugstore Saint-Germain attack by a grenade found in the apartment of his then-girlfriend.

It came from the same haul of stolen grenades as the one used at the drug store and others left behind by the embassy attackers.

The judges also cited the testimony of a former German PFLP member, as well as a purported interview with Carlos in an Arabic newspaper, which the defence had said was bogus but the judges said included convincing detail.

In a brief summary of their reasons for convicting Carlos, they did not refer to eyewitness evidence, which the defence had argued was unreliable due to the passage of time.

Defence lawyer Francis Vuillemin denounced the verdict, telling journalists that the "media's truth" had overwhelmed the "judicial truth" and influenced the judges.

"We will see you again in a year's time, on appeal, for the next performance of this judicial theatre," he told press after the judgement was handed down.

But a lawyer representing 18 injured parties said it was "a victory for justice."

"It's important for everyone that justice is done in their case," Georges Holleaux told a journalist who asked what purpose was served by sentencing the defendant to a third term of life imprisonment.

Earlier, Carlos himself denounced the trial as "absurd" in a vehement statement to the court before the judges retired to consider their verdict.

"I am no innocent, but this trial is an absurdity from every point of view," the one-time pro-Palestinian militant said.

Carlos has been in prison in France since being seized in Sudan in 1994.

Since then he has been convicted 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.

Born in Caracas in 1949 to a wealthy Marxist lawyer, Carlos studied in Moscow and then moved to Lebanon, where he fell in with the leftist PFLP.

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

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