German soldier who posed as refugee on trial for attack plot

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A German military officer who posed as a Syrian asylum-seeker went on trial Thursday accused of plotting to kill outstanding politicians and blame the assault on refugees.

Federal prosecutors say the defendant, recognized solely as 1st Lt. Franco A. attributable to German privateness guidelines, acted out of far-right extremist motives. The case has raised considerations about extremism within the nation’s army.

The defendant recognized solely as 1st Lt. Franco A. attributable to German privateness guidelines, walks to a court docket for the beginning of a trial on costs of making ready a critical act of violence endangering the state in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Might 20, 2021.
(AP)

Earlier than his trial in Frankfurt’s regional court docket, the 32-year-old defendant denied that he had deliberate to hold out any assaults, the dpa information company reported.

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His lawyer, Moritz Schmitt-Fricke, claimed that his consumer was the sufferer of a smear marketing campaign and denied that he had far-right leanings, citing his curiosity in punk music as proof.

Franco A. got here to the eye of authorities after he was arrested in February 2017 whereas going to retrieve a pistol he had stashed in a Vienna airport lavatory. He was freed, however Austrian authorities knowledgeable Germany. When the soldier’s fingerprint matched the one he’d given to register as an asylum-seeker, it triggered the investigation.

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Prosecutors alleged that the defendant’s targets included then-Justice Minister Heiko Maas and the Jewish head of an anti-racism group. He had stockpiled 4 firearms together with an assault rifle, greater than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and greater than 50 explosive units, some stolen from army shops, they mentioned.



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