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Tank, machine guns and pistols: German fined for WWII weapons arsenal

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By Euronews with AP
FILE - In this May 28, 2021 file photo a 84-year-old, accused of possession of a tank, waits in the courtroom for the start of the trial in Kiel, Germany.
FILE - In this May 28, 2021 file photo a 84-year-old, accused of possession of a tank, waits in the courtroom for the start of the trial in Kiel, Germany.   -   Copyright  Axel Heimken/dpa via AP
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An 84-year-old man in Germany was convicted for illegal possession of World War-II era weapons, ammunition and explosives.

The state district in the northern city of Kiel handed the man a suspended prison sentence of one year and two months and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of €250,000, the German news agency dpa reported.

The equipment included a tank, a flak cannon and multiple other items.

The man, whose name was not given due to privacy laws, also has to sell or donate the 45-ton tank and the anti-aircraft cannon to a museum or a collector within the next two years.

Authorities discovered his World War II military arsenal during a 2015 raid of the collector's storage facility in northern Germany when they had been investigating black market Nazi-era art.

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.

Before the court's verdict was announced, the defendant's lawyer read out a confession on his client's behalf, dpa reported.