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Convicted bank robber makes 5-day closing speech to court

71-year-old sentenced to 12.5 years

(CNN) - A bank robber in Germany used his legal right to a "last word" to speak for five days in court.

A district court in Hamburg, Germany, sentenced Michael Jauernik, 71, to more than 12 years in jail for three bank robberies, attempted murder and violation of weapons law.

Under German law, a defendant is given the opportunity to have a "last word" after a verdict is given. Defendants generally use the time to show remorse, or say nothing.

Jauernik, who attended court in sunglasses, ranted about allegedly incompetent investigators and claimed he had more legal knowledge than his lawyers, CNN affiliate RTL reported. Jauernik's speech spanned five days, a source in the court press office confirmed.

As the verdict was delivered, the 71-year-old continually interrupted the judge, RTL said.

Jauernik has previous convictions for a series of bank robberies in the 1970s and 1980s and led a five-day prison riot in Hamburg's Fuhlsbüttel prison in 1990, RTL reported.

Jauernik's lawyer, Johannes Rauwald, told German media that his client would appeal the sentence.


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