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Draft Penal code debate

An article in the draft penal code stipulating that house searches can take place

without the presence of owners provoked heated debate at the National Assembly, with

lawmakers initially voting against the article, before it was finally approved, local

media reported. After initial voting for the article fell two short of a majority,

National Assembly President Heng Samrin summoned a second vote, which resulted in

a majority. Opponents claimed the second vote was illegitimate and said the article

could enable police to plant evidence in suspects' homes. The debate came as the

National Assembly discussed the draft of a penal code that would cement in law regulations

that have been poorly defined since 1993.



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