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Israeli court clears 2 of antiquities fraud
Israeli court acquits 2 men accused of forging Bible-era relics
By The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) ' An Israeli court has acquitted two men accused of forging a trove of Bible-era artifacts, including the purported burial box of Jesus' brother James.

The Jerusalem District Court said Wednesday the defendants' guilt could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The court said the acquittal was not a ruling about whether the relics were authentic or forged.

The defendants were accused of forging what had been hailed as two of the biggest biblical discoveries in the Holy Land in recent years ' the burial box and a stone tablet with written instructions by the 9th century B.C. King Yoash.

The defendants were charged with using authentic but mundane artifacts, such as a plain burial box, and boosting their value enormously by adding inscriptions.

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