Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried six men accused of drug use and trafficking in Chom Chao II commune last year.
Judge Long Vanna identified them as Hean Veasna, 31; Keo Bunthoeun, 39; Srun Kimsrosh, 25; Chun Vinich, 25; Kim Soksey, 38; and Sok Ratana, 32.
Judge Vanna said they were charged with drug use and trafficking after they were arrested by Por Senchey district police on November 16 last year.
Judge Vanna noted that at about 5.30pm on the day of their arrests, the six men were selling drugs openly in a slum area in Trapaing village in Por Senchey district’s Cham Chao II commune.
Judge Vanna added that police in civilian clothes on site surrounded them and arrested them immediately.
“After their arrests, police seized four packages of crystal methamphetamine and other drug-related materials from them,” he said. “Police also tested their urine, which all came back positive for drug use.”
During yesterday’s trial, the six accused denied they were drug traffickers, but confessed that they were drug users.
They confessed to have been using drugs for more than four years prior to being arrested and have not used drugs since then.
The men asked the court to drop the charges and release them from prison.
Mr Veasna told the court that on the day of his arrest, he was hired by an unidentified man to sell drugs. He said that the unidentified man promised him a small package of crystal meth and about $12.50 per day as payment for the job.
“I accepted an offer by an unidentified man to sell drugs for him and did it three times in exchange for the payment and a small package of drugs,” he said. “I am a drug user but not a trafficker. I ask the court to please drop the charge and release me.”
Deputy prosecutor Seng Kimlak said that although the men denied the allegations, the court will not drop the charges.
“Based on the evidence police seized from them, in the name of the prosecutor, I suggest the judge punish them in accordance with the law,” Mr Kimlak said.
A verdict is due on August 21.