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Monday, 20 November, 2000, 14:14 GMT
Enigma theft suspect bailed
Enigma machine
The Enigma team were vital to the war effort
A man who has appeared in court in connection with the theft of the World War II Enigma machine has been granted bail.

Dennis Yates, a 57-year-old antiques dealer from Sandiacre, Derbyshire, appeared on Monday before magistrates in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, charged with blackmail and handling stolen goods.

Mr Yates was granted unconditional bail to reappear at the same court on 15 January, after being arrested on Friday following a seven-month-long investigation.

The Nazi encoding device, valued at 100,000, disappeared on 1 April from a display case at Bletchley Park Museum near Milton Keynes, the UK's top secret wartime decoding centre.

Ransom

Last month the device, which resembles a manual typewriter, was sent to BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman.

An Enigma wrapped inside a package
Jeremy Paxman with his perplexing delivery
But three vital wheels from the machine were missing.

Police say they received a ransom note for 25,000 for the missing parts.

The Enigma team's work in deciphering codes - used by the Germans to direct operations including U-boat attacks on Allied convoys - proved vital to the outcome of the war.

The stolen device, an Abwehr Enigma G312, is a rare four-rotor version, one of only three still known to be in existence.

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