France: 3 Men Sentenced in Case of Stolen Picassos
By DOREEN CARVAJAL
Published: September 21, 2010
Three men accused of trying to peddle stolen Picasso paintings were sentenced to up to seven years in prison on Tuesday after they portrayed themselves in court as witless sellers who did not know they possessed anything valuable. The paintings — “Maya à la poupée et au cheval de bois” and “Portrait de Jacqueline” — were recovered in a sting operation by the French national art brigade in 2007. Months earlier, meticulous thieves had entered the Left Bank apartment of Picasso’s granddaughter and cut away the works, leaving without a trace. One of the men, Jean Sala, 61, whose heart condition delayed the trial, was sentenced to four years, as was Paula Sabbah, 57. Abdelatif Redjil, 56, who said rope, gloves and fake keys found in his car were tools of his construction trade, was sentenced to seven years.