Calif. retrial begins in battle for giant emerald

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Associated Press

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 7 at 11:33 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A dispute over an 840-pound emerald has been renewed in a Los Angeles courtroom with a judge trying to decide if a businessman is the rightful owner to the gem that has been appraised at $372 million.

City News Service says an attorney representing one of three parties staking claim to the rare Bahia emerald made his arguments Monday in a non-jury retrial. Lawyer Steven Smith says his client Anthony Thomas paid $60,000 for the emerald but he never received the jewel and thought it had been stolen.

A judge in April 2011 tentatively dismissed Thomas' claim, saying his story was simply not credible. The judge was later sworn in as a federal district judge and replaced by the current judge who wanted to hear the case himself and make an independent ruling.

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