Drug convict pleads for clemency

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
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The Supreme Court yesterday heard the appeal of a Vietnamese national convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Presiding Judge Khim Ponn said Chan Thi Nihan, the Vietnamese national, was arrested along with her Swedish boyfriend Ekenlund Nickie on June 20, 2011 at about 1:30pm.

Their arrests came following the confessions of four Cambodians, who were detained earlier that day after they sold drugs to an undercover police officer in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune.

The Cambodians were Meas Sophea, Som Borin, Yos Kunthy and Duch Chhorvon.

During the arrests of the four Cambodians, police seized a total of 261.70 grams of methamphetamine, Judge Ponn said.

Judge Ponn said the four confessed during police interrogation that the drugs sold to the undercover officer were obtained from Ms Chan and Mr Nickie.

After the couple was arrested, police seized 241.80 grams of hashish, 222.40 grams of marijuana, 209.6 grams of methamphetamine, 297.70 grams of cocaine, 98.8 grams of ecstasy, along with chemicals and other drug materials.

Judge Ponn added that Mr Nickie and Ms Chan were sentenced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court to 28 years in prison each on March 18, 2012, with fines worth about $15,000, while the Cambodians were given six years in prison each, and fined about $3,750 each.

According to Judge Ponn, the six filed for clemency at the Appeal Court in 2012, but their convictions were upheld on August 13, 2015.

Judge Ponn said the Cambodians and Mr Nickie stopped appealing, but noted that Ms Chan took the case to the Supreme Court.

At yesterday’s hearing, Ms Chan said she never committed drug use nor drug trafficking. She also claimed that she did not know about Mr Nickie’s drug activities.

“In this case, I had known nothing but police arrested me along with my boyfriend and alleged that I was the owner of the drugs seized,” Ms Chan said, noting that the Court should overturn her conviction and release her from prison.

Tho Navy, Ms Chan’s lawyer, yesterday argued before the Court that her client was a victim, not a perpetrator.

“For this case, my client was innocent, but the lower courts did not find truth and justice for her,” Ms Navy said. “Instead, they convicted her to 28 years in prison.”

“The lower courts did not provide my client justice,” she added. “I hope the Supreme Court will provide justice so that she can be released from prison and returned to her family.”

A verdict is due Monday.

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