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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


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - One of Sweden's most notorious criminals appeared in a court in Germany on Wednesday, charged with a murder he is accused 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 currently 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.

Ausonius, now 64, is suspected of having shot dead a woman in broad daylight in Frankfurt in 1992 while on the run from the authorities after the shootings in Sweden.

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, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

"The prosecution believes that the defendant thought the woman had his electronic notebook in her handbag," she told Reuters TV outside the courthouse.

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

After the murder trial ends, he is to be returned to Sweden where a court sentenced him to life in 1995 for the Stockholm shootings as well as a string of bank robberies.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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