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French tourist tried on bag-snatching accusations

French tourist tried on bag-snatching accusations

An French tourist was tried yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on allegations that he stole a French woman’s bag at a guesthouse in the capital’s Daun Penh district in March.

Judge Meng Tony said that defendant Frank Cristophe Henri Marret, had been staying at the Dolphin Guesthouse for several days in a room near that of the French victim.

“He entered to steal the victim’s bag inside her room while she was having a bath and forgot to close her [door],” he said. “After stealing it, he hid the victim’s bag under his bed inside the room. Police [later] confiscated the victim’s bag from his room.”

During his trial yesterday, Marret admitted to stealing the victim’s bag, but said that it only contained books, a camera and a passport, but no money.

Upon finding no cash, Marret continued, he attempted to return the bag, but when the victim shouted at him and reported him to the guesthouse’s owner, he decided to hide it in his room.

“The reason why I decided to steal her bag was because I had run out of money to pay for the guesthouse room and food fees,” he told the court, adding that he had learned his lesson. “I would request the court to pardon me and release me.”

Under the Penal Code, Marret could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $1,500. A verdict is due on August 26.

A previous version of this article misidentified the defendant as American national Justin Alan Bauch. He is actually French national Frank Cristophe Henri Marret. The previous version also misstated the victim's nationality. She is French, not Dutch.

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