Sweden’s ‘laser man’ killer John Ausonius goes on trial in Germany


A Swedish far-right extremist whose shooting spree in the 1990s inspired “lone wolf” terrorists such as Anders Breivik will go on trial in Germany on Wednesday morning for an unresolved murder of an Auschwitz survivor in Frankfurt 25 years ago.

John Ausonius, 64, is already serving a life sentence in Sweden for the shooting of 11 people of immigrant background in the Stockholm and Uppsala area between August 1991 and January 1992. His aim, he said in interviews, was to scare immigrants out of the country and discourages others from entering. Ausonius was dubbed Lasermannen, or “laser man”, in Swedish media because he used a rifle equipped with laser sight for the attacks, which left Jimmy Ranjbar, an Iranian student, dead and others with severe disabilities.

Now, 17 years after eventually confessing to 10 attempted shootings, Ausonius will appear in a Frankfurt court for a trial that could dash his hopes of an early release. On 8 February 1992, while on the run from Swedish police, Ausonius visited a restaurant in the city’s Opernplatz square. Two weeks later he returned, accusing cloakroom attendant Blanka Zmigrod of having stolen an electronic Casio notebook from his pocket. An altercation ended with Ausonius shouting “we will meet again” at Zmigrod as he left the restaurant. The following night, the 68-year-old was shot from close range by a hooded cyclist as she walked home from work.(theguardian)…[+]