A court has sentenced a right-wing radical to seven and a half years for plotting to murder Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in revenge for a decision to exhume Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and rebury him, state broadcaster RTVE reported on Tuesday.
The national court for serious crime in Madrid (Audiencia Nacional, in Spanish) found that Manuel Murillo, 65, had declared his intentions to acquaintances and online while calling for assistance.
Murillo, a security guard and marksman who was arrested in 2018, owned a number of illegal firearms, including sniper rifles and an assault rifle.
The court convicted him of a crime of homicide in degree of proposition and another of deposit of weapons of war
"I am a sniper and with a precise shot Sánchez will be finished off before Spain completely sinks. Wars would not be necessary," is one of the messages that he sent in a WhatsApp group where he publicly expressed his desire to kill the Prime Minister.
Exhumed from mausoleum
Franco, who ruled Spain as a dictator from 1939 to his death in 1975, was exhumed from his huge mausoleum in the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) to the north-west of Madrid and reburied in 2019.
Sánchez, the head of Spain's Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE, in its Spanish acronym), has been in power since 2018.