A well known fortune teller has gone on trial in Phnom Penh Municipal Court after being caught with nearly three grams of crystal methamphetamine.
Vann Sokseiha 22, also known as the fire astrologer Hora Akineth, was charged by the court prosecutor with drug trafficking.
Mr Sokseiha went on trial on Saturday.
Presiding Judge Vann Senvisoth said the accused was arrested in September last year by Interior Ministry anti-drug police at his rented house in Tuol Kork district’s Boeng Sralang commune.
Judge Senvisoth said police seized 2.68 grams of crystal methamphetamine and other drug materials from him.
Dam Chhoeun, deputy chief of the anti-drug department at the ministry, said Mr Sokseiha was famous for his magic. People knew him through his Facebook account. He said that before his arrest, his magic performances had been posted on Facebook and YouTube. These showed him being unharmed despite being shot and hacked with swords.
The posts had been viewed and liked by hundreds of thousands of people inside and outside the country.
“He was arrested while he was selling drugs to our undercover officer,” Mr Chhoeun said. “He has good magic. When we handcuffed him, he was re-cuffed many times but he did not flee.”
In court, Mr Sokseiha admitted his guilt. He asked the judge for a reduced sentence.
“I would like to admit the mistakes,” he said. “The reason why I decided to commit the drug trafficking offence was because I did not have money to pay for my rent.”
“I understand my mistakes now. I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence so that I will be able to meet my family,” he added.
The verdict is due on May 30.