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Art heist trial held up over lawyer’s sneakers

A judge fined lawyer CatalDancu 5000 lei ($1482 ) Tuesday for flouting dress regulations for arriving late trial four Romanians

A judge fined lawyer Catalin Dancu 5,000 lei ($1,482 ) Tuesday for flouting dress regulations and for arriving late at the trial of four Romanians who are being tried over the theft of seven paintings. | AP Photo

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BUCHAREST, Romania — A lawyer found he couldn’t sneak into court late, at least not wearing jeans and blue suede sneakers.

Judge Ioan Adrian Chitoiu slapped defense lawyer Catalin Dancu with a fine of 5,000 lei ($1,148), the maximum allowed, on Tuesday for flouting dress regulations and for being late at the trial of five Romanians accused of art theft.

Dancu had a black robe over jeans and the bright blue sneakers— triple-stripe models which he said cost 200 euros ($264).

“I am scented, shaved and fresh,” he said, explaining he had been delayed in another court. “I am going to contest this fine.”

Proceedings were adjourned after Dancu moved for the judge to be suspended, which another court will rule on.

The five defendants are being tried for the theft of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Monet among others which were stolen in October from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal gallery.

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