Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – A Bundeswehr officer suspected of terrorism, a defense with violent charges against the prosecutor: The trial of the Bundeswehr officer Franco A., who is suspected of terrorism, has begun for the higher regional court in Frankfurt.
The federal prosecutor accused the 32-year-old first lieutenant of planning attacks on politicians out of deep-seated far-right sentiments. He also violated the Arms and War Weapons Control Act. The Prosecution assumes that he wanted to carry out an attack on high-ranking politicians and public figures who, from the point of view of the accused, stood out for their commitment to being refugees.
With “significant organizational efforts”, the suspect has acquired a false identity as an alleged Syrian refugee, according to the prosecutor. Franco A. wanted to present the planned attacks as terrorist acts by a recognized asylum seeker and to instill confidence in the asylum policy.
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 4 firearms, more than 1000 rounds of ammunition and more than 50 explosives.
Shortly before the trial began, Franco A. had again dismissed the allegations against him. “I have never planned actions to the detriment of anyone,” Franco A. told journalists in Frankfurt on Thursday. He wanted to clear a number of cases in the proceedings before the higher regional court of Frankfurt. He is not a right-wing extremist. The allegations against him are “by no means true.”
In court, the 32-year-old, who has been awaiting trial for nearly four years and is released after the warrant has been withdrawn, seemed relaxed and focused at the same time. He didn’t shy away from looking into the cameras, nor did he try to hide behind files. Instead, he made some final changes to the position of his lawyers. With a full beard and long, tied-back hair, the slender, medium-sized man in a checked shirt and light-colored pants didn’t exactly fit the cliché notions of a skinhead in combat boots.
Before the court began to gather evidence, Franco A.’s lawyers used their statements about charges against the prosecution – there was character assassination, a targeted smear campaign against their client, stigmatization and the suspicion of targeted harassment. Dozens of statements from former teachers, childhood friends, Bundeswehr officers and other companions were read, which Franco A. declared as cosmopolitan, a high sense of justice and open-mindedness. Others called him “very conservative, but by no means militant.” An officer had a plausible explanation for the basic democratic attitude: “Otherwise he would not be an officer in the Bundeswehr.”
It seemed as if there was already a struggle for interpretive sovereignty in the proceedings before the first testimony and inspection of the first piece of evidence: did Franco A. have particularly insidious plans of attack that were supposed to arouse suspicion and anger towards refugees? or did he see himself as an investigator of grievances who, in the words of his lawyer, “used only the instrument of the Köpenickiade”?
Franco A. wants to respond to the allegations in the coming week.
In a statement prior to the trial, Kahane hoped to clarify and clarify the background and possible connections of the suspect: “The trial should be seen as an opportunity to expose and completely dump armed networks. Unfortunately, after all the experiences of the past years, our expectations are very low. “