German court hands ‘Laserman’ life sentence for 1992 killing

February 21, 2018

John Ausonius attends the trial in a courtroom in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. The regional court has sentenced the Swede to life in prison for shooting dead a woman in Frankfurt 26 years ago. Public broadcaster HR reported that the Frankfurt regional court found John Ausonius guilty Wednesday of murdering restaurant employee Blanka Zmigrod in 1992. ( Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Wednesday sentenced a Swedish man to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman in Frankfurt 26 years ago.

Prosecutors had reopened the case as part of a nationwide review of suspected far-right killings.

A Frankfurt regional court said it found John Ausonius guilty of murdering restaurant employee Blanka Zmigrod in 1992. Ausonius allegedly believed the victim, who was Jewish, had stolen his electronic diary.

German prosecutors reopened the case in 2014 amid concern that authorities hadn’t pursued suspected far-right killings vigorously enough in the past. Ausonius became known as “Laserman” for the gunsight he used in a series of shootings of immigrants in Sweden during the 1990s, in which one person was killed and several others were injured.

Sweden, where Ausonius was serving a life sentence, agreed to extradite him to Germany in 2016.

Frankfurt court spokesman Werner Groeschel said that if the verdict isn’t overturned by a higher court, prosecutors will decide whether to allow the 64-year-old to serve his sentence in Sweden.

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