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The dangerous substance that the Czech police found in a house in Bela nad Svitavou on Friday was nuclear material, regional police spokeswoman Marketa Janovska said today. She said the police accused a 45-year-old man of keeping the material today. He was detained on Friday and on Saturday he was taken into custody, Janovska said. She said the man has permanent residence in Germany.
The man is also investigated by the German police. They found chemicals of an unknown origin, ammunition, detonators and parts of automatic arms in his flat in Koblenz. No radioactive substances like those in Bela were found there. The police have continuously guarded the building in which the nuclear material was found since Friday.
The material found are chemical compounds based on depleted uranium that is used in miniature quantities in chemical analyses in laboratories. The police would not release any more details even though they already have the results of the first analyses of the substances. The state attorney´s office in Koblenz said the man kept uranium 238 and 235. Janovska said representatives of the South Bohemia Region, environment inspection, firefighters and police met today to agree on the way of liquidating the dangerous substances and to minimise a possible risk to the surroundings. Hans-Peter Gandner, deputy head of the state attorney´s office in Koblenz, said the man is of German-Slovak origin and he was born in Prague.
He lived in Bela with his 81-year-old mother. Gandner said the man underwent bomb-disposal training and that the German police have not found any links between the man and the far right. German bodies investigate the man on suspicion of a breach of the law on war arms control and the law on explosives. They started the investigation on the basis of information from Czech colleagues. The German daily Rhein-Zeitung wrote that the raid on the man´s German flat was participated in by 50 members of special police units, 25 professional and 200 voluntary firefighters. "The whole flat of about 60 square metres, the cellar and the attic were full of waste," the paper quotes police spokesman Helmut Zirfas as saying.
"Every individual piece had to be taken from the first-storey flat and examined in tents and containers brought to the site," he said. The whole area was sealed off and the man´s neighbours had to leave their homes where they will be able to return today at the earliest. They told the paper they did not know the man much. He has been accused in the Czech Republic of unauthorised armament and unauthorised production and possession of nuclear material and special fission material. He faces up to five years in prison, if found guilty.
The material found are chemical compounds based on depleted uranium that is used in miniature quantities in chemical analyses in laboratories.