Gun maker sues German gov't in row over Saudi exports

Heckler & Koch takes legal action against gov't for failing to give it approval to export parts to produce G36 gun in Gulf kingdom
By Reuters
Fri 30 Oct 2015 02:34 AM

German gun maker Heckler & Koch is suing the German government for failing to give it approval to export parts needed to produce its G36 gun in Saudi Arabia, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Citing government sources, the paper said the gunmaker had filed a suit against the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (Bafa), with Frankfurt's Administrative Court.

The complaint comes after the government stopped authorising the export of five key components needed to make the gun in the middle of last year, the paper said.

No one at Heckler & Koch, Bafa or the Economy Ministry was available for comment on Thursday evening.

Last year, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel vowed to follow a much more cautious approach in licensing arms exports, unnerving Germany's defence industry which had profited from aggressive export policies.

In 2008, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government approved a controversial but lucrative licensing deal for Heckler & Koch that allows Saudi Arabia to produce the G36 itself.

Last week, Germany was forced to defend a decision to allow the export of tanks and artillery to Qatar, which has been reported to have sent troops to fight in Yemen.

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