|Credit: Reuters/Bogdan Cristel. The names of those charged with|
stealing paintings from a Dutch museum are seen on a trials
list at a court in Bucharest October 22, 2013.
Reuters' Ioana Patran reports from Bucharest ("Ringleader in Dutch art theft claims he had inside help") on the guilty pleas entered by three defendants for stealing seven paintings from the Triton Foundation while on display last October at the Kunsthal Rotterdam:
Radu Dogaru and two other Romanians have so far pleaded guilty in a Bucharest court to stealing artworks worth tens of millions of euros from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum in October 2012 - one of the art world's biggest heists in recent years. Two other defendants were expected to testify later while a sixth remains at large and is being tried in absentia.
On Tuesday, defense lawyer Catalin Dancu told reporters during a break in proceedings his client said he had inside help in the heist. "That person helped them so that the one open door was the way in to the museum," he said. Dogaru refused to reveal the alleged accomplice's identity. "Radu Dogaru has said 'my life and my safety are more important than revealing the person's name'," Dancu said.
A spokeswoman for the museum, Sabine Parmentier, declined to comment on the issue when contacted by Reuters.
Asked by a judge whether he had inside help, Dogaru avoided answering and said: "I couldn't say if the theft was ordered. If Dutch (officials) do their job we will learn what happened."