Police See Breakthrough in Solving Bank Robbery in Hungary

Police said Wednesday they have found weapons used in the 2002 bank robbery that left eight people dead in Hungary, after detaining two suspects in the case.

The May 9, 2002, heist at a branch of the Austrian-owned Erste Bank in Mor, a town about 65 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Budapest, led to the shooting deaths of four bank employees, one guard, two clients and one insurance specialist.

While investigating a separate crime, the killing of a mailman, police detained a suspect identified only as Laszlo N. and searched his home - discovering a machine gun and a hand gun used at the Mor bank robbery, said Zoltan Csizner, of the National Investigation Office.

"This is a new turn ... the two cases may be possibly linked to each other," Csizner said.

Laszlo N. had been implicated in the robbery by another suspect, identified as Robert W., who was taken into custody after police matched his hand print to one found on the bank's door.

Csizner said Robert W.'s print was also found on one of the recovered guns.

Laszlo N. has acknowledged being in Mor at the time of the robbery, but Csizner said there were inconsistencies between the two suspects' testimonies. Both men were in custody pending a court hearing.

Two people were convicted in 2005 of participating in the robbery, but police were still searching for the killers. The robbers escaped from the bank with 7 million forints (US$36,450, euro27,780), Csizner said.

In the separate case, Laszlo N. is suspected of killing a mailman while robbing him of money he was delivering to pensioners in 2003. He was detained after being seen allegedly carrying one of the mailman's bags into the woods, where police found the bag and a bullet casing.

Laszlo N. is also suspected of robbing five other mailmen between 2003 and 2005.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.