'Pink Panther' jewel thief jailed for 8 years in Montenegro
A court in Montenegro jailed a member of the "Pink Panther" gang of international jewelry thieves for eight years on Wednesday over a 2003 multi-million dollar heist in Germany.
Vladimir Lekic, 33, was found guilty by the high court in Podgorica for having "committed the crime with premeditation, use of force and threats in order to gain profit," Judge Ana Vukovic said as he handed down the verdict.
Seven years ago Lekic and his two accomplices, Predrag Bujosevic and Zoran Kostic, robbed a gem store in Frankfurt, taking off with jewelry worth 2.5 million euros (3.3 million dollars).
Lekic, already convicted by a Belgian court of another robbery, was arrested in June 2009 in Montenegro. Bujosevic and Kostic are being held in France.
The three are part of a group that has been dubbed the "Pink Panther" gang in an echo of the Peter Sellers film in which a stolen diamond was stashed in a but of face cream.
The gang is thought to be composed of around 60 people originating from former Yugoslavia, around half of them from Montenegro.
© 2010 AFP