Who would marry a terrorist?
A leftist French lawyer, apparently.
Isabelle Coutant-Peyre married Ilich Ramírez Sánchez — aka ‘Carlos’ — in 2001. She has also served as his lawyer.
Carlos the Jackal’s health is deteriorating after he went on hunger strike over his treatment in France’s most notorious prison.
The 62-year-old Venezuelan terrorist, whose murderous exploits shocked the world in the 70s and 80s, stopped eating a week ago.
Carlos, real name Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, is in solitary confinement at La Santé maximum security prison in Paris, where he is serving life for murder.
He was put into isolation after using a prison phone to speak to journalists about a trial he is facing in November for a series of bomb attacks in the French capital which killed 11 people and maimed hundreds of others.
In a letter to the Ministry of Justice, Carlos’s lawyer Francis Vuillemin said the strike was in response to ‘the deliberate violation of my client’s rights by the prison administration.’
Mr Vuillemin said a computer which Carlos had been able to use to prepare his defence case had been ‘dismantled and thrown in pieces into a cardboard box, with no possibility of it being set up in his isolation cell.’
The lawyer said Carlos’s personal belongings, including warm clothing, had been taken away, and that his client’s health was rapidly deteriorating to the extent that he should sent to hospital.
The article mentions his lawyer-wife, about whom more in a moment. Right now, though:
Carlos said he was not sorry for any of his crimes, but did regret that … ‘I couldn’t bring up my children.’
Work got in the way, you see:
I sacrificed my family life. I was an absent husband most of the time.
I won’t pretend to be a Carlos expert. However, his marrying a lawyer interested me, especially when she defended his first wife, Magdalena Kopp.
The French edition of Vice (yes, I know) was able to interview Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, formerly married to a civil servant, with three sons between them.
According to the article from 2010, Kopp told Carlos that Coutant-Peyre was ‘serious, loyal and not on the side of the police’. Wikipedia tells us that she has form in defending radicals:
she supports her defence of “revolutionary fighters” with income derived from her activities as a business lawyer.
She has worked with Jacques Vergès, who defended Klaus Barbie.
Seriously, you could not make this up.
She is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause — Vice has more on the subject.
But never mind that, here’s what she has to say about Carlos:
Have your children ever met Carlos?
What do they think about your marriage?
That it’s a little surprising, that’s all. It’s surprising and uncomfortable, they say.
Do you see him regularly?
Yes, of course, I make visits in a legal capacity fortnightly.
How did the wedding take place?
In prison. It wasn’t a civil ceremony but a religious one, the only kind that exists for Muslims. I didn’t convert to Islam, contrary to what many people imagine. I was raised in a Catholic environment … but am non-practicing. He converted to Islam in 1976.
He was in Yemen with a group of Muslims involved in an operation that had little chance of succeeding. In order to facilitate communications, he converted. Afterward, with time and reflection in prison, he deepened his faith.
Carlos is often presented as a mercenary terrorist.
That’s just part of the propaganda to discredit him. They’ve said he’s been a Cuban agent, a KGB agent, but … Because he’s an independent man and whilst he has taken advantage of nations, he’s never been dependent on them.
Is there romance between you and Carlos?
Yes, yes, obviously, he’s a really fabulous guy.
Does he have a sense of humour?
Yes, loads — and he’s a great romantic. Anyway, I don’t think you can be a revolutionary without being a romantic and a bit of a utopian. You have to like the idea of a utopia.
And that is the key to leftist politics, including terrorism: love of utopia. This faulty experiment has been run time and time again from the 19th century, particularly in America, to the present.
Based on man’s inherent flaw — propensity for wrongdoing — there can and never will be a utopia. This is why utopian communities, Communist and Socialist states, communes, kibbutzes and the like never work.
It’s not that Communism and Socialism could work given the right circumstances — it’s that they cannot succeed. Man is — and always will be — too imperfect. This is why many revolutionaries say, ‘People will have to die’. Of course they will — one’s opponents must go as a matter of course. (Subtext for anyone who missed it: Please stop voting Labour.)
Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble.