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Relics appeal: Five men’s ‘dropped’ case reheard

Relics appeal: Five men’s ‘dropped’ case reheard

More than a year after their arrest over relics stolen from Oudong Mountain, five men appeared in the Appeal Court yesterday.

Charges against the five men – four pagoda security guards and a villager – were dropped in October, but they remained in prison after a prosecutor in Kandal province appealed.

During a closed hearing, the prosecutor alleged that the men’s fingerprints had been found inside the pagoda and on a number of relics, said defence lawyer Seang Piseth.

“Therefore, he asked the council to uphold the charges,” Piseth added. The defendants, he said, had been questioned for only about 10 minutes.

The five men were arrested in the immediate aftermath of a theft at Oudong last December in which remains of the Buddha were stolen.

The remains were later recovered in Takeo province, and police arrested Keo Reaksmey in February, but kept the five in prison after the alleged discovery of other relics at one of the men’s homes. A verdict is due on December 30.

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