Monday, February 6

They judge the sniper who wanted to “finish” Sánchez “with a precise shot”


Manuel Murillo, in preventive detention since his arrest in 2018, sits today on the bench of the National Court for drawing up an alleged plan to kill the Prime Minister after Franco’s exhumation. He faces 18 years in jail

Matthew Balin

Manuel Murillo had a vital objective: “Force a change in political life in the country.” This 66-year-old resident of Tarrasa (Barcelona), an athlete, a fan of precision shooting and a security guard, reached the “personal conviction” of attacking the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, after announcing the start of the procedures for the exhumation of the remains of Francisco Franco in the summer of 2018, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. “We cannot allow them to humiliate the generalissimo (…) It is revenge for having lost the war,” he assured then.

Armed with an arsenal of weapons at his home, the brain of the so-called ‘Valkyrie operation’ spread his ideas in a WhatsApp chat called “Terrasa por España”, which brought together an undetermined number of people with far-right ideology.

His animosity against Sánchez grew as the days went by and the threats from this man with an obsessive, lonely and nostalgic character became more and more explicit. «If necessary I am going to go armed and I will sit on Franco’s grave and if they approach me I will shoot. If they touch Franco, I suggest that they start the war again for our honor (…) And this time we will not leave a single one ».

Given the progress in the process that ended with the dictator’s remains outside the Valle de los Caídos complex, Murillo expressed his desire to have the chief executive “in the spotlight.” His dream, “returning to the west of the ‘far west’ with a revolver on his belt” or with an MG42 machine gun failing that. “It cleans shit up quicker that way,” he wrote.

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The accused, who denied that Franco started the war and attributed the blame to the “socialists, independentists and communists”, was forging, according to the prosecutor, “a rejection speech” against Sánchez that was leading to an “explicitly expressed desire » of executing an assassination. Some facts for which he sits today and tomorrow on the bench of the National High Court and for which they ask him for 18 and a half years in prison: 11 and a half years for a crime of propositional homicide and seven years in prison for a crime of deposit of weapons and ammunition of war.

«Al Sánchez you have to go hunt him like a horn (deer) and put his head in the chimney. There are so many hunters in Spain and none of them have balls. They only kill poor little animals that do not break Spain, this one has to be hunted », Murillo maintained in his messages in the aforementioned chat.

Help for the criminal plan

Son of the last Francoist mayor of the Barcelona town of Rubí, the accused has been in preventive detention since his arrest in September 2018 and to date forensic experts have not considered that he suffered from any type of mental disorder. What’s more, before the arrest he assured that his “greatest illusion” of him was “to put Sánchez’s traitor under Franco’s tombstone”, although he acknowledged in that chat that he “perhaps he was talking a lot”. Those verbal excesses, however, came from his “heart of him.”

His “solution” to what he considered serious problems for the country was “a national uprising even if it seems crazy.” “If we don’t have to go as anonymous snipers killing those sons of bitches little by little (…) Everything has to be well planned for it to go well, that is, I need help,” he said.

It was at that moment that Murillo began to request collaboration “publicly and privately” to carry out his project, establishing contact with several people and aware that in order to “blow heads” there had to be “more organization” in order to cause ” terror”. In one of those conversations, the defendant explained his intentions: «It is a plan to end the government that exists, but I do not want anyone to know it, only the righteous. It’s kind of like in World War II it was Valkyrie (Adolf Hitler’s foiled assassination attempt). I am a sniper and with a precise shot the Sánchez ends before it completely sinks Spain. Wars would not be necessary.

From the intervention of his communications, it is also clear that if the accused insisted on seeking help, it was because he recognized his limitations. “I don’t have anything on the internet, I’m old, I just know how to shoot,” he wrote. It was his interlocutor – today a protected witness – in these last messages who was in charge of denouncing his plan, which led to his arrest.

The agents located in his vehicle a pistol, a rifle, a dagger and various tools for shooting practice. In addition, in his home they also found several revolvers, a shotgun, an assault rifle and a handmade crossbow. Additionally, they seized a large amount of ammunition and various explosive devices.

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