PARIS — A defiant and smiling Carlos the Jackal, one of the most dreaded terror masterminds of the Cold War, has gone on trial again – this time over four deadly attacks in France nearly three decades ago.

The Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, went before a special Paris court on terrorism-linked charges Monday. He is already serving a life sentence handed down for a triple murder in 1975.

Ramirez, 62, who sowed fear across Western European and Middle Eastern capitals, is charged with instigating four attacks in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and injured more than 140 others in France.

He has denied any role in the attacks. The trial is expected to last six weeks, and if convicted, Ramirez could face a second life sentence – the top penalty in France, which does not have the death penalty.

Ramirez smiled as he entered and then identified himself to the court as “a professional revolutionary” – striking a combative pose from the outset.

With three gendarmes at his side and dark sunglasses in his hands, Ramirez variously raised a fist in defiance, weaved anti-Zionist rhetoric into his diatribes and smiled to the gallery that included controversial French comic Dieudonne.

“He’s in a fighting mood as always,” Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, Ramirez’s attorney and amorous partner, said outside the courtroom before the trial began.

She told reporters there was “no reason” for the trial nearly 30 years after the events, and accused French prosecutors of putting him on trial for “propaganda or some other interests rather than the ones of justice.”

But Francis Szpiner, the attorney for some civil parties to the case, countered that the trial was important to show that terrorists will always be pursued and to mark “the end of the culture of impunity” for them.

The trial centers on four bombings: two against French trains, another at a Paris office of an Arabic-language newspaper and yet another at a French cultural center in then-West Berlin.

Those bombings came at least seven years after what French investigators consider was Ramirez’s first heyday – eight attacks over two years starting in December 1973.

Ramirez is serving a life term for the 1975 murders of two French secret agents and an alleged informer. He was also the chief suspect in the 1975 hostage-taking of OPEC oil ministers that left three people dead.

French prosecutors claim two attacks in 1982 were carried out to pressure the government to free his girlfriend Magdalena Kopp and comrade Bruno Breguet. Five people were killed in the March 1982 bombing of a Toulouse-Paris train. Scores were injured and a young girl was killed the next month in a bombing outside the newspaper office.