John Ausonius arriving at court in 1992. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/Scanpix
German police have asked Swedish authorities to extradite John Ausonius, 63, for questioning over the murder of 68-year-old Blanka Zmigrod, who was shot in the head at close range on her way home from the restaurant in Frankfurt where she worked as a cloakroom attendant in February 1992.
“I question whether they really have the right to bring a prosecution after all these years,” Ausonius told Aftonbladet newspaper. “That’s the question we need to answer before I know what I will say over whether I will go down there or not.”
After Ausonius was arrested in 1992, police tracing his trips abroad discovered that he had been at the restaurant the week before Zmigrod's murder, and had argued with her over a Casio electronic calendar he believed she had stolen.
The weapon used in the murder had the same 6.35mm calibre as Ausonius’s.
The killer was interviewed once by German police at Sweden’s Kumla Prison in 1996, but nothing came of it until two years ago when police came to Sweden to hold further interviews.
Ausonius said he is willing to go to Germany as long as the proper procedure is followed.
“I have nothing against going. I think I will be acquitted and that the case will be closed. But it has to be done correctly,” he said.
Ausonius has been in prison in Sweden since June 1992, and is now allowed out unsupervised four times a year for eight hours at a time.
Ausonius’s lawyer Thomas Olsson said he was unsure if the the extradition request would be admissible under European law.
“To defer investigating a suspicion until after so many years have passed, and we are talking of about 20 years, is of course totally unacceptable,” he told Aftonbladet.
Ausonius was the son of a Swiss father and a German mother who had emigrated to Sweden.
He was bullied at school for his dark hair and brown eyes and as an adult died his hair blond, wore blue contact lenses and changed his name from Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg.
Between August 1991 and 30 January 1992, Ausonius murdered one person and attempted to murder another ten, most of whom were dark skinned migrants, in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas.
He was named “Lasermannen” by the Swedish media after the rifle equipped with a laser sight he used for the first of his murders. He later switched to a revolver.