Trial to open next month in spectacular German jewelry theft

Posted at 10:21 AM, December 29, 2021 and last updated 8:02 PM, July 13, 2023

BERLIN (AP) — Six men will go on trial in Germany next month over their alleged role in the spectacular theft of 18th-century jewels from a Dresden museum in 2019, a court said Wednesday.

The Dresden state court said that the trial will open on Jan. 28, German news agency dpa reported. The suspects, German nationals aged 22 to 28, are accused of organized robbery and arson. Court dates are scheduled through the end of March.

Prosecutors say that the men are responsible for the break-in at the eastern city’s Green Vault Museum on Nov. 25, 2019, and the theft of 21 pieces of jewelry containing more than 4,300 diamonds, with a total insured value of at least 113.8 million euros ($129 million).

They allegedly laid a fire just before the break-in to cut the power supply for street lights outside the museum, and also set fire to a car in a nearby garage before fleeing to Berlin.

Searches so far have not yielded the missing treasures. Prosecutors said in September that the suspects, who are all in custody, had not responded to the accusations against them.

The Green Vault is one of the world’s oldest museums. It was established in 1723 and contains the treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony, comprising around 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials.