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Emperor’s Grandson Accused of Smuggling Jeweled Tiara

November 22, 1996

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ The grandson of Austria’s last emperor could be fined $20,000 for evading customs duties on a diamond and emerald tiara, Austrian state radio reported Friday.

Karl Habsburg said in a statement that he did not intend to smuggle the tiara but mistakenly failed to register it on returning to Austria.

Habsburg, traveling with his wife, Francesca, was carrying the tiara when he arrived July 30, 1995, from Switzerland at the small border airport at Hohenems.

If found guilty of smuggling, Habsburg could be fined up to about $20,000 _ and lose the tiara, Austrian radio said. Its value wasn’t specified.

The tiara reportedly is owned by a Swiss foundation belonging to his wife’s family. According to the radio, Habsburg said his wife was entitled to wear the jewels on certain occasions and had wanted to wear them while in England. They were to be returned later to Switzerland, he said.

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