Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Leonardo Da Vinci Madonna, Ashes to Ashes Wednesday !!!!

Jury considering da Vinci case sent home for night

The jury in the case of the men accused of conspiring to extort £4.25m for the return of a Leonardo da Vinci painting has been sent home for the night.

The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh has heard more than seven weeks of evidence.

The five men are accused of seeking the funds for bringing back the stolen Madonna of the Yarnwinder.

All five of them have denied the offence which is alleged to have taken place between July and October 2007.

On trial are Marshall Ronald, 53, Robert Graham, 57, and John Doyle, 61, all from Lancashire, along with David Boyce, 63, of Lanarkshire and Calum Jones, 45, of Renfrewshire.

'Colourful tale'

They are accused of plotting to extort £4.25m for the return of the artwork, which was taken from the Duke of Buccleuch's Drumlanrig Estate north of Dumfries in 2003.

The men have not been accused of carrying out that raid.

During the trial the court heard details of an undercover police operation to recover the artwork.

Prosecutors praised their efforts, claiming the officers involved had "turned the tables" on the accused.

They said a video the men had produced showing the valuable painting alongside a copy of a newspaper was a "hallmark of kidnapping and extortion".

Those claims were dismissed by lawyers representing the accused.

They described the assertion that their clients were involved in a conspiracy as a "colourful tale" and a "mad idea" which was "wholly incredible".

The jury will resume its deliberations on Wednesday morning.

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