Main suspect in Kunsthal art theft faces 18 years in jail

One of the two main suspects in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft should be jailed for 18 years, the public prosecution department in Bucharest said on Tuesday.

Six Romanian nationals are currently on trial for the theft of seven works of art, including work by Matisse and Picasso. Five have confessed to their role in the robbery, Nos television said. A seventh man, considered one of the two main suspects who actually carried out the robbery, is on the run.

One minor suspect and the other main suspect, named as Radu Dogaru, may have their sentences cut by 30% in return for their statements, Nos said.

The judge has refused to accept the other three statements and wants to hear more witnesses. The trial has now been adjourned until December 3, news agency ANP said.

The paintings, stolen on the night of October 16, have never been recovered. Dogaru’s mother, who is one of the six on trial, claimed earlier to have burned several of them in a stove. Traces of paint were found in the ash by Romanian investigators.

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