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Appeal Court upholds drug conviction against 15-year-old boy

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the sentencing of a 15-year-old boy to 10 years in jail for trafficking nearly 400 grams of methamphetamine in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district last year.

Presiding Judge In Vanvibol identified him as Suon Tour, 15, from Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune in Phnom Penh.

He added that Mr Tour was charged with drug use and trafficking after he was arrested in Srah Chak commune on May 2 last year.

Judge Vanvibol added that at about 7pm on the day of his arrest, police raided a slum area in Village III in Srah Chak commune. During the raid, police arrested Mr Tour, who was standing while waiting for customers to sell drugs to.

He added that after the arrest, police seized 345.78 grams of crystal meth, one phone and other drug related materials from him.

Judge Vanvibol said that Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 18 convicted Mr Tour and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

He added that Mr Tour did not agree with the ruling and appealed it to the Appeal Court to reduce his sentence.

“Based on the trial and the evidence that police seized from Suon Tour, as well as his confession during his hearing, the Appeal Court considers the ruling of Phnom Penh Municipal Court as correct and made in accordance with the law,” Judge Vanvibol said.

“Therefore, the Appeal Court has decided to uphold the ruling of Phnom Penh Municipal Court as effective,” he added.

Judge Vanvibol said that Mr Tour can appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court within one month if he did not agree with it.

Speaking outside the court yesterday, Mr Tour said the Appeal Court was unjust and that he did not accept it because he was only a drug user and not a drug trafficker.

“It was unjust,” he said. “I do not agree with the court’s ruling. I will appeal it to the Supreme Court and ask for a reduced sentence.”

Mr Tour said he had been using drugs for more than two years before he was arrested.

He noted that on the day of his arrest, he was hired by an unidentified man to bring the drugs to an unidentified buyer in Srah Chak commune.

He added that the unidentified man who hired him promised to pay him about $12.50 and give him a small package of drugs for free in return.

Mr Tour added that he was later arrested by police while he was waiting for the man to come and pick up the drugs from him.

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