Iranian chocolate thief to have hand chopped off

16 October 2010 - 18:04 By Sapa-AFP

An Iranian court has condemned a man convicted of robbing chocolates and cocoa from a Tehran pastry shop to have a hand chopped off, Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

Judge Mohammad Reza Giyuki, quoted in the report, also sentenced the 21-year-old man, whose identity was not revealed, to six months in prison for damaging the shop and another six months for "disobeying police."

Fars said police arrested him on May 29 and found in his possession 900 dollars worth of cash, three pair of gloves, chocolate and cocoa.

The Islamic sharia laws of Iran lay down amputation as punishment for repeated thefts.

Cases of amputation have been increasing due to a rise in robberies on the back of growing poverty in Iran. Last week, Tehran amputated a hand of a man found guilty of two robberies in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad.