Lawyer: No proof to charge Romanians for art theft

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A lawyer for three Romanians who are charged with stealing valuable paintings from a museum in the Netherlands last year says there is insufficient evidence to charge them.

The stolen art includes seven works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse.

Lawyer Doina Lupu said Friday "there is no evidence that this was an organized criminal group." She urged that the three not be extradited to the Netherlands, saying "the arrests were based on assumptions and on simple declarations and these are not enough. "

Bucharest Court on Friday ruled to keep the men in custody pending an investigation.

The thieves broke in Oct. 16 through a rear emergency exit at Rotterdam's Kunsthal gallery, grabbed the paintings off the wall and fled, all within two minutes.

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