A View To a Drill


SMOKING GUN: German exports may have helped build Iraqi weapons

A German arms merchant who illegally sold a giant drill to Iraq in 1999 has left a gaping hole in Germany's efforts to restrict the export of sensitive military-use technology. A Mannheim court last week sentenced Bernd Schompeter, 59, to five years and three months in jail after ruling that he had broken an export embargo with the drill, which can be used to manufacture cannon capable of firing chemical or nuclear weapons. It also handed a suspended sentence to Willi Heinz Ribbeck, 53, a sales manager at the machinery company that made the drill. The convictions embarrass Germany, which has...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!