Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – The trial of a 32-year-old Bundeswehr officer suspected of terrorism begins today at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt.
First Lieutenant Franco A. allegedly planned a serious criminal offense that was dangerous for the state for right-wing extremist reasons. The federal prosecutor’s office assumes that he was targeting high-ranking politicians and public figures who, from the point of view of the defendants, were particularly distinguished for their commitment to being refugees.
The officer from Offenbach had also applied as a Syrian refugee with a false identity. The prosecution assumes that after an attack he wanted to target the suspicion on Muslim refugees.
He was arrested in February 2017 for hiding a gun in a toilet at Vienna Airport. When comparing the fingerprints, it turned out that the professional soldier was also registered as an alleged Syrian asylum seeker. Franco A. has been at large since the warrant was withdrawn in November 2017.
According to the accused data, victims of the attack included Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maas, Vice President of the German Bundestag Claudia Roth and Anetta Kahane, human rights activist, journalist and founder of the Amadeu Antonio. Foundation in Berlin, ” she said in December 2017 announcing the indictment. Franco A. purchased a total of four firearms, more than 1000 ammunition and more than 50 explosives.
“I hope the trial can shed light on how far-right structures have been able to penetrate the security apparatus,” Kahane said before the start. “The process should be seen as an opportunity to locate and fully excavate armed networks. Unfortunately, after all the experiences of the past years, our expectations are very low. “
Before the trial, Franco A. rejected the allegations in an interview with the Russian state broadcaster RT.de. It is a construction of the parquet. With his double life as a Syrian refugee, he wanted to denounce grievances. He did not keep a death list with the names of possible victims. His lawyer Moritz Schmitt-Fricke said his client was the victim of a smear campaign. “I regret to deny this procedure the rule of law,” said the defense attorney.
The Bundeswehr has forbidden Franco A. to perform his duties and he is also not allowed to wear a uniform. In addition, his salary was reduced.
The OLG Senate had initially wanted to open proceedings before the Darmstadt Regional Court because it saw insufficient suspicion of preparing a serious criminal offense that would endanger the state and necessitated a hearing before the OLG State Security Senate . Following a complaint from the federal public prosecutor’s office, the federal court has revoked this decision and initiated the main proceedings at the OLG.