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Trial begins over theft of huge Canadian gold coin from Berlin museum

Four young men are on trial over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum. The Big Maple Leaf coin, worth several million dollars, was stolen from the Bode Museum in March 2017.

Investigators believe the coin, worth several millions, was cut up and sold by suspects

The 'Big Maple Leaf,' a 100-kilogram gold coin, was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin in March 2017. (Marcel Mettelsiefen/dpa/Associated Press)

Four young men are on trial over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum.

The Big Maple Leaf coin, worth several million dollars, was stolen from the Bode Museum in March 2017.

Three men, identified only as Wissam R., Ahmed R. and Wayci R., are accused of stealing the coin during the night using a wheelbarrow to haul it away.

The fourth suspect, Dennis W., worked as a guard at the museum for a private security firm and is accused of scouting out the scene. 

Investigators believe the suspects cut up the coin and sold the pieces.

Three of the four suspects were between ages 18 and 21 at the time of the heist, classifying them as adolescents in Germany, according to court spokesperson Lisa Jani. 

"They have not said anything to this indictment; they prefer to stay silent," Jani told CBC News.

She said they have the right to stay silent to avoid self-incrimination. 

The case is being tried in youth court, with the decision to treat them as adults or juveniles to follow, Jani said.

"Three of the defendants belong to a family here in Berlin that is publicly known for committing crimes, but me as a spokesperson, I'm always very careful because of course belonging to one family and carrying a family name doesn't make you guilty," Jani said.

With files from CBC News

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