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Relative of Carlos the Jackal paid damages for wrongful arrest

Carlos the Jackal was jailed for life in Paris in 1997 Keystone Archive

A woman related to the international terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, has received SFr37,600 in damages from the Federal Court over her wrongful arrest in 1994.

This content was published on October 5, 2001 - 15:59

But the court said the compensation could have been twice as high if the woman had not been partly responsible for provoking the arrest through her own suspicious conduct.

Carlos the Jackal, whose real name is Illich Ramirez Sanchez, was arrested in 1994 and is currently serving a life sentence in a Paris jail for the murder of two French anti-terrorist agents and a Lebanese informant in 1975.

He was reportedly one of the world's most prolific "revolutionary" terrorists during the three decades prior to his arrest.

The woman, who was formerly employed by the International Red Cross, was suspected of being a member of Carlos's terrorist group and of allegedly participating in a series of attacks which claimed several lives.

Series of investigations

Her arrest in September 1994 followed a series of investigations into alleged accomplices of Carlos launched by Switzerland's former chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, the previous year.

The woman, who has not been named, was released in December 1994 and in June the following year the case was dismissed through lack of evidence. Her compensation package covered the 85 days that she spent on remand for loss of earnings as well as damages for prejudicial press coverage of her arrest.

According to the judges, the woman had demanded SFr75,000 but this amount was halved after they ruled that she had engaged in dealings liable to provoke suspicion. The woman confessed to having regular contact with Carlos's group.

In December 2000, the Federal Court awarded SFr26,600 in compensation to Giorgio Bellini, who was also arrested and detained for 73 days on suspicion of being an accomplice of Carlos.

The decision followed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the Swiss authorities had detained the pair without evidence for too long.

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