Monday, November 28, 2011

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

AN Indonesian tourist, who is embroiled in a court case over a US$60,000 theft, was put on trial again yesterday for stealing an additional $35,000 from a telecommunications company cashier. The second trial came despite his claims he was not in Cambodia at the time of either offence.

Dainavil Saputra, aged 27, appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday along with fellow holidaymaker 32-year-old Rahman Ali.

Judge Keo Mony said they were arrested in March this year after Metfone cashier Chea Samneang had $35,000 stolen from her on February 9. She had taken out money for staff salaries from an Acleda bank branch in Phnom Penh. While carrying the cash to her office in Tuol Kork district, she was robbed.

“Dainavil Saputra is a main suspect in this case. Rahman Ali is the suspected motorbike driver who helped Dainavil Saputra to escape after he successfully stole the money,” said the judge.

Dainavil Saputra has also been charged by the court with stealing more than $60,000 from a 45-year-old woman on February 24 in Phnom Penh. That case is currently being reinvestigated, so police can investigate claims that he was not in the Kingdom at the time.

Yesterday, both men denied the charges, reiterating they were in Indonesia when the offence took place. They said they entered Cambodia as tourists via Poipet International Checkpoint from February 5 to 9 and again on March 15, before their arrest.

Defence lawyer Pich Sorya said they had been wrongfully arrested. “There is no proof or evidence … because they were not staying in Cambodia. I would like to ask the court to drop charges against them and release them,” he said.

A verdict is due August 31.

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