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German Military Officer Known as Franco A. Guilty of Plotting Terrorism

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FRANKFURT — In one of Germany’s most spectacular terrorist trials after the war, military officers disguised as Syrian refugees were sentenced to five and a half years in prison on Friday for killing a prominent public figure in a far-right terrorist program. I was told. Germany in the hope of disrupting the democratic order.

The case of Lieutenant Franco A., whose name was abbreviated by authorities in accordance with German privacy law, shocked the country when he was arrested five years ago and pushed the country to face the creeping threat of a far-right invasion. I did. Army and police.

Franco A. was convicted of terrorism, illegal possession of weapons, and fraudulent attempts to hide himself as a refugee, but three months of his sentence were detained after being previously re-arrested. Because it has been, it is considered to have been sentenced to imprisonment. Year.

He was caught in 2017 trying to collect a loaded gun that was hidden in the bathroom at Vienna Airport. His fingerprints later revealed his second false identity as a Syrian refugee, sounded a warning, and conducted an investigation across three countries and multiple intelligence agencies.

Prosecutors accuse him of planning one or more assassinations using his fake Syrian identity with the intention of agitating growing concerns about immigration in Germany and causing a national crisis. Did.

The incident emerged as another warning to countries that have spent decades redeeming the Nazi past, but at the same time have a proven track record of not being able to fully deal with far-right extremism and terrorism.

Franco A. maintained his innocence until the end, but during the 13-month trial, many exposures settled the proceedings against him.

A series of anti-Semitic and racist audio memos he recorded about himself, some praising those who “destroy” the nation, dreaming of “killing” political enemies. It was played in court. A “mindset” prosecutor quoted as his political motivation.

Prosecutors were accused of possessing more than 1,000 ammunition, four guns, and about 50 explosives, some of which were stolen from the military base where he was stationed. Franco A. slipped early in the trial and admitted to possessing a weapon. ..

“The possession and acquisition took place,” he said, but he refused to say where he got the weapon, especially where he got the G3 assault rifle, or where he disposed of it. To date, they have not been discovered.

Franco A. was released from pretrial detention three and a half years before the trial began and began trial as a free man. However, in a dramatic scene at a subway stop in February, Franco A. was detained after traveling to his fellow soldier’s house and picking up a shopping bag full of Nazi souvenirs. rice field.

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