German pensioner convicted of illegal weapons possession, including World War II Panther tank – ABC News

A German court has convicted an 84-year-old man of illegal weapons possession for having a personal arsenal that included a Panther tank, a flak cannon and multiple other items of World War II military equipment.

The state district in the northern city of Kiel handed the man a suspended prison sentence of 14 months and ordered him to pay a fine of 250,000 euros ($400,000), German news agency dpa reported.

It also ordered the defendant, whose name was not given in line with German privacy laws, to sell or donate the 40-tonne tank and the anti-aircraft cannon to a museum or a collector within the next two years.

Authorities discovered the illegal arsenal during a 2015 raid of the collector’s storage facility in northern Germany in an investigation into black market Nazi art that turned up two bronze horse statues that once stood in front of Adolf Hitler’s Chancellery. Those items were in another man’s possession.

A brown tank is loaded onto a trailer.
The man has been ordered to sell or donate the tank to a museum or a collector.(

AP

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During the raid of the defendant’s property, authorities also seized machine guns, automatic pistols and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Local media reported at the time that the man made no secret of his weapons collection and even brought the tank out during a bad winter to use as a snowplough.

Outside court, the man’s lawyer Gerald Goecke said the suspended sentence reflected that the weapons were intended as museum pieces, not for any harm.

AP

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German pensioner convicted of illegal weapons possession, including World War II Panther tank – ABC News

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