• Kyodo News

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The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday charged a Montenegrin member of the “Pink Panther” ring of thieves with robbery and intrusion over a 2007 heist in Tokyo involving nearly ¥300 million worth of jewelry.

Rifat Hadziahmetovic, 42, was formally arrested in Spain by Japanese police last month in connection with the robbery, which resulted in injuries, a charge that would, as a serious crime, be subject to a lay judge trial under the citizen judge system launched in May 2009. But he will not be so tried because he was indicted for simple robbery instead.

Hadziahmetovic is suspected of stealing a ¥200 million diamond tiara and a necklace worth ¥84 million from the Exelco Diamond store in the ritzy Ginza district after spraying pepper spray at clerks in June 2007.

The theft ring has with some 200 members.

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