A 39 year-old defendant led the Monaco authorities on a long chase before he appeared recently for sentencing for thefts at the Hôtel de Paris and the Hermitage in the summer of 2022.

While in custody in Monaco, and left unattended, he escaped by climbing down the scaffolding at Police HQ. He walked to La Turbie and took a hotel room before making his way to Bulgaria, where he was arrested on an international warrant last summer.

Conditions in the prison in Bulgaria, where he spent time on remand awaiting extradition, were not to his liking, with bedbugs and the company of someone he called “a terrorist.”

“It was very hard… The conditions are better in Monaco, it’s something else,” he told the court.

Bravely defending the accused, Me Christophe Sosso helpfully pointed out that his last conviction was in 2016. “ We are the polar opposite of a criminal mafia network,” Me Sosso said.

The defendant was sentenced to 10 months and has already served five on remand.

PHOTO: The ornate interior of Monaco’s Court building