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Man on trial in Germany accused of threatening to blow up British hospital

The Berlin resident is accused of threatening an unspecified hospital unless the he received funds in his Bitcoin account.

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(Yui Mok/PA)

(Yui Mok/PA)

(Yui Mok/PA)

A 33-year-old man has gone on trial in Berlin on allegations that he threatened to blow up a British hospital unless he was paid £10 million in cryptocurrency.

The Italian man, who lives in the German capital, was identified only as Emil A, in line with German privacy laws.

He is accused of attempted extortion over allegations he sent an email in April from his home to the NHS, threatening the attack on an unspecified hospital unless the he received the funds in his Bitcoin account.

The NHS did not respond, and the suspect sent another 17 threatening emails until his arrest in June, according to prosecutors.

It was not highly professionalLisa Jani

The suspect, who had studied computer science, used an email address under the pseudonym Combat 18, which is a known neo-Nazi organisation, said court spokeswoman Lisa Jani.

Investigators tracked him through his electronic trail despite his attempts to conceal it, she added.

“It was not highly professional,” she said.

Investigators determined the suspect had no bomb and no specific target, and the case was assigned to a Berlin district court rather than a higher court due to the nature of the allegations, Ms Jani said.

The suspect was convicted in 2013 of a similar threat against a Dutch company and sentenced to 10 months probation, she said.

No pleas are entered in the German system and the suspect gave no response after the charges against him were read into the record.

The trial resumes on December 16 with evidence from German investigators.

British authorities have said they will participate as witnesses during the trial by video link, though Ms Jani said the court still intends to try to have them attend in person.

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