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The Hardy Brothers store after the robbery
The Hardy Brothers store after the robbery

Accused $1m diamond thief in court

An Australian man will face trial this week, accused of a brazen daylight theft which made headlines last year.
The target of the robbery was the Hardy Brothers jewellery store in Melbourne’s CBD.

A 9.1-carat round-cut solitaire diamond engagement ring, worth $1 million, was taken from the Collins Street jeweller.

Last week George Georgiou, 30, of Northcote, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with aggravated burglary, theft, criminal damage and receiving stolen goods.

Georgiou is accused of using a sledgehammer to smash his way through a display window, snatching the ring in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses.

The incident occurred in March 2009, making headlines around Australia.

Last week Hardy Brothers management said the company could not comment on the case while it was before the court.

After the robbery, Georgiou is alleged to have fled to Thailand, living in the seaside resort town of Pattaya.

He was arrested by Thai authorities in October 2009 following a request from the Australian Attorney-General’s department.

Georgiou protested his innocence at a police press conference following his arrest.

"I am just a suspect. They are taking me back. I've done nothing," he said.

He admitted to previously serving a 10-month prison sentence in Australia for burglary in 2004, blaming the incident on “a gambling problem”.

He spent the next eight months in a Thai prison before being extradited to Victoria in February this year.

He appeared in court last Wednesday, did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody until a committal hearing on September 2.

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Thursday, 02 July, 2020 04:13pm
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