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Six to face court over German museum heist

Six men will go on trial in Germany next month over their alleged role in the spectacular theft of 18th-century jewels from a Dresden museum in 2019, a court says.

The Dresden state court said on Wednesday that the trial will open on January 28, German news agency dpa reported.

The suspects, German nationals aged 22 to 28, are accused of organised robbery and arson. Court dates are scheduled through the end of March.

Prosecutors say that the men are responsible for the break-in at the eastern city’s Green Vault Museum on November 25, 2019, and the theft of 21 pieces of jewelry containing more than 4300 diamonds, with a total insured value of at least 113.8 million euros ($A178.0 million).

They allegedly laid a fire just before the break-in to cut the power supply for street lights outside the museum, and also set fire to a car in a nearby garage before fleeing to Berlin.

Searches so far have not yielded the missing treasures. Prosecutors said in September that the suspects, who are all in custody, had not responded to the accusations against them.

The Green Vault is one of the world’s oldest museums. It was established in 1723 and contains the treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony, comprising around 4000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials.

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