07:32 GMT26 October 2020
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    A man in Altay Prefecture, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, had his day in court on Monday over a huge iron meteorite he discovered in his pastures in 1986 that was taken away by the local government in 2011.

    The Kazak man, 61, named Zhuman, filed a lawsuit in a local court in 2015, attempting to get the meteorite back, but the case was rejected until the Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture branch of the Xinjiang Supreme Court demanded a retrial in November 2016, thepaper.cn reported Tuesday.

    Zhuman found the meteorite when he was grazing his animals in July 1986, and reported it to local government which then determined Zhuman should guard it.

    The 17.8 ton stone was classified as an iron meteorite in 2011, when two other residents learned of its existence and reported it to a local research center.

    Officials from the prefecture government took away the stone from Zhuman's paddock in October 2011 and gave him 20,000 yuan ($2,900) as a guardian.

    Zhuman and his two sons filed a lawsuit in 2015 over the appropriate guardian fee for the past 27 years but got rejected.

    "There is no solid legal proof to determine whether the iron meteorite belongs to Zhuman or the local government," Sun Yi, a lawyer who represents Zhuman's case, was quoted as saying by thepaper.cn.

    The four-hour trial conducted by the Altay City People's Court has yet to reach a verdict.

    The meteorite is currently in the Xinjiang Geological and Mineral Museum. It is believed to be the other half of "Silver Camel," the largest iron meteorite found in China, thepaper.cn reported.

    This article originally appeared on the Global Times website


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