Europe

German 'far-right' gunman jailed for life in Nuremberg

Wolfgang P (centre) in court, Aug 2017 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Wolfgang P (centre) went on trial in August

A court in Bavaria has jailed a man with far-right links to life imprisonment for killing a policeman during a raid on his home last year.

The man, named only as Wolfgang P, was described as a "Reichsbürger" - part of a group that rejects the German state.

The Nuremberg court found him guilty of murder for the shooting last October.

Three other special forces policemen were wounded when the man fired at them through a door. They had gone to seize his guns in a town near Nuremberg.

It is a German legal convention not to give a defendant's family name for privacy reasons.

Wolfgang P had an arsenal of about 30 guns, which police went to seize early in the morning in Georgensgmünd.

The Reichsbürger ("Reich Citizens") group does not recognise the authority of the post-war German federal republic. It believes in the continued existence of a German empire, or Reich, dating back to 1937 or even earlier.

German internal security officials estimate the group's membership to be 12,600 nationally, with at least 3,000 of them in Bavaria.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Wolfgang's home: The shooting focused national attention on the so-called Reichsbürger

The shooting prompted the authorities to reassess the group's influence in Germany, and to recognise that there were potentially dangerous neo-Nazis among them.

Reichsbürger had mostly come to the authorities' attention for refusing to pay taxes and for possession of firearms. Wolfgang P's letterbox bore the inscription "Government territory of Wolfgang" and the message "Here my word is law!", Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

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