Three of the six Balinese men charged over the four-year rash of thefts of sacred pratima objects from temples that led earlier this year to the arrest of Bali-resident Italian art collector Roberto Gamba have appeared in court again.
They were before judges at the Amlapura District Court for a hearing of evidence from several local witnesses, who gave details about thefts from temples in the Rendang and Selat areas, some of which were uncovered only much later when very sacred pratima were required for special religious ceremonies.
Gamba, 42, who arrived in Bali to live in 2006, the same year the temple thefts commenced, and two Balinese men were arrested in early September after police raided Gamba’s villa, a Seminyak shop and two warehouses in Denpasar and seized hundreds of objects they say were stolen from at least 34 temples in Bali from 2006 onwards.
Two further suspects, both also Balinese and from Tabanan and
Karangasem, were arrested a week later.
Gamba remains in custody.
A total of six Balinese men are facing charges over the temple thefts. They are I Komang Oka Sukaya; I Gusti Putu Oka also known as Agung or Gung Jaya; Komang Gede Pariana, also known as Apel; I Wayan Eka Putra, also known as Eka, Sastra or Surung; I Gusti Agung Komang Suardika, also known as Komang Enok; and I Gusti Lanang Sidemen.