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Monk accused of drug possession, assault released on bail

A monk and his student who were arrested after an alleged night of debauchery in Siem Reap last month were released on bail by the provincial court yesterday, the monk and his attorney said.

The Venerable Pich David and his student Huot Chantra were arrested and accused of possessing drugs and using violence against police after they were reportedly found in another monk's room – along with several other people, including two women – with condoms, drugs and alcohol. Another monk arrested with them, the Venerable Chan Sambo, was not released yesterday.

David maintained his innocence yesterday, saying that he had been beaten by police after "some rogues framed" him.

"I would like to deny the accusations, and police also kicked and beat me in the head," he said.

Horm Sun Rith, a lawyer with the Community Legal Education Center who represents the two released, said he welcomed the decision.

"We know that they should grant [the pair] bail, because it is a minor offence," he said.

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