February 21, 2018 / 3:11 PM / a year ago

Swedish 'laser man' killer handed life sentence by German court

FILE PHOTO: Swedish John Ausonius, dubbed the "laser man", waits for the start of his trial in Frankfurt, Germany, December 13, 2017, charged with a murder he is accused of having committed more than 25 years ago. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - One of Sweden’s most notorious criminals was sentenced to life in prison by a German court on Wednesday for a murder he was convicted of having committed in Frankfurt more than 25 years ago.

The man, John Ausonius, went on a racially motivated spree in Sweden in 1991 and 1992 in which he killed one person and injured 10 others in attacks in the Stockholm area, for which he is already serving a life sentence in Sweden.

Dubbed the “laser man” by Swedish media for his use of a laser sight and rifle for some of the shootings, he is thought to have inspired anti-immigrant attacks such as the 2011 massacre by Norwegian Anders Breivik and shootings by Peter Mangs in Sweden.

While on the run from authorities after the shootings in Sweden, Ausonius, now 64, was suspected of shooting dead a woman in broad daylight in Frankfurt in 1992.

He had accused the 68-year-old woman of stealing an electronic notebook from his coat pocket in the cloakroom of the Frankfurt hotel in which she worked, German prosecutors have said.

Ausonius has denied killing the woman but did not object to being transferred to Germany for the murder trial on condition he serves any possible prison sentence in Sweden.

The state court in Frankfurt on Wednesday sentenced him to life in prison followed by preventative detention, a court spokesman said. He was not immediately able to provide further details.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Alison Williams

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