Spanish PM assassination conspirer sentenced to seven years in prison

National Court finds Terrassa man guilty of attempted homicide and possession of military weapons

Firearms discovered at Manuel Murillo's home in Terrassa on November 8, 2018 (courtesy of CME)
Firearms discovered at Manuel Murillo's home in Terrassa on November 8, 2018 (courtesy of CME) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 12, 2022 05:15 PM

A man who showed intent to assassinate the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has been sentenced to seven years and six months in prison.

Security guard Manuel Murillo, a resident of Terrassa, around 20km outside Barcelona, was found guilty by the criminal division of the National Court of Spain for his assassination intentions, which he spoke about in 2018 in a Whatsapp group called “Terrassa per Espanya,” (Terrassa for Spain).

A member of the group alerted the authorities to his messages, which stated that he was ready to “sacrifice himself for Spain,” comparing Sánchez to those opposing Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

Murillo was also practising at the Vallès Olympic shooting club.

His dissatisfaction for Sánchez was due to the decision to exhume the remains of former dictator Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen memorial site near Madrid.

As well as nefarious intentions, upon his arrest in September 2018, Murillo was also found to be in possession of 16 firearms, including a rifle, a submachine gun, two illegally modified pistols and four sniper rifles.

In fact, a majority of the sentence comes from the possession of firearms rather than his conspiracy, as the former yields a sentence of five years, and the latter two and a half.

The case was transferred from a court in Terrassa to the Provincial Court in Barcelona, before being moved to the National Court in the Spanish capital.

The court ruled that Murillo believed "the solution to bring about a change in Spanish politics involved killing the president of the government, and therefore devoted himself to getting help to do so." They also thought that there was no definite plan, but pointed out that Murillo was showing "an unbreakable determination to put an end to the Prime Minister’s life" with increasing determination.

The judges did not conclude that Murillo has any mental disorder and also rejected that any intoxication exemption can be applied to him for alcohol consumption or medication.