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German man lands in court for hoarding Nazi weapons
German man lands in court for hoarding Nazi weapons

Berlin, May 29 (TIWN) An 84-year-old man went on trial in Germany on Friday accused of hoarding a stash of Nazi-era weapons, including an army tank, in the basement of his residence in the city of Kiel.

Public prosecutors have also accused the man, who has not been identified under Germany's strict data protection laws, of being in possession of a 5-m calibre mortar machine guns and assault rifles.  In addition, the collection included semi-automatic and fully automatic pistols, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. 

The search of the residence in 2015 turned into a two-day operation.  It took 20 soldiers about nine hours to extract the tank from the property, which weighed almost metric 40 tonnes. 

The defendant claimed to have bought the tank in England as scrap metal.  The key issue facing the Kiel regional court is whether the weapons hoarded were operational.  The prosecution believes they were, which if proven correct would mean the hoard was in violation of the War Weapons Control Act and other weapons-related offences.  Violations of the act are punishable by a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison.  However, experts commissioned by the court believe that only the anti-aircraft gun is still likely to be a weapon of war and that the other items are no longer operational.

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