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'Laser Man' calls on Supreme Court to lower sentence

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'Laser Man' calls on Supreme Court to lower sentence
09:46 CEST+02:00
A man serving life in prison for a series of brutal attacks on immigrants has turned to Sweden's Supreme Court in a bid to have his sentence reduced.

John Ausonius, more widely known as lasermannen ('Laser Man'), has approached the country's most senior court after his request for an early release was refused by the Örebro District Court in April this year.

Prosecutors highlighted the seriousness of Ausonius's crimes and stressed the likelihood of him returning to a life of violent crime if released. The Court of Appeal later upheld the decision.

Ausonius was convicted in 1995 for one case of murder and ten attempted murders of immigrants, as well as eight bank robberies.

Born in 1953, Wolfgang Zaugg was the son of German and Swiss immigrants. As an adult he changed his name to John Ausonius in order to appear more Swedish. He also dyed his black hair blond.

In 1979 he became a Swedish citizen. He combined a successful flirtation with stocks and bonds with a deep-seated hatred of immigrants.

Some ill-advised investments put a serious dent in his comfortable lifestyle and he began robbing banks to maintain his position.

At the end of the summer of 1991, Ausonius targeted his first immigrant victim. Two Eritreans saw a circle of red light rest on their compatriot's body before he was hit.

The man survived but Laser Man terrorized Stockholm's immigrant population for a further eighteen months.

In November 1991 he shot his fifth victim, Jimmy Ranjbar, an Iranian student. Ranjbar did not survive the attack.

In all Ausonius shot eleven immigrants in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas. Many of his victims were shot in the head and experts believe further casualties were only prevented by Ausonius's incompetence when modifying his weapon.

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