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Accused Art Thief Is in Thicker Soup

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Accused art thief Luke Brugnara will go to court Tuesday to face new charges of escape and lying to the court, after his Feb. 5 escape from the Federal Building during a scheduled meeting with his attorney.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup allowed Brugnara to leave the Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland to meet with his lawyer Erik Babcock to prepare for trial, in which he is accused of trying to buy $11 million worth of art without paying for it.

Brugnara changed into street clothes and walked out of the building. He was arrested six days later.

Babcock has told the court he intends to withdraw as Brugnara's counsel.

Brugnara told Alsup at a hearing that he left the building because he had a medical emergency, upon which Alsup ordered him to stop talking.

The new indictment adds escape and making false declarations to the court to Brugnara's charges of mail and wire fraud.

He will appear before Alsup again Tuesday.

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