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Appeal Court upholds drug conviction

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Hak Va following his arrest. Fresh News

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the sentencing of a man jailed for seven years over a drug offence committed near the Thai border in 2017.

Judge Kim Dany identified the man as 49-year-old Hak Va, a beverage vendor from Preah Vihear province’s Rovieng district.

Judge Dany said Mr Va was found guilty of drug trafficking after he was arrested by the provincial anti-drug police. He was arrested on August 24, 2017.

“Based on the trial and the evidence police confiscated from Hak Va, and after the Appeal Court has thoroughly inspected documents and laws, the Appeal Court has decided to acknowledge that Preah Vihear Provincial Court was right and its decision was made in accordance with Cambodian laws,” she said.

“Therefore, the Appeal Court has decided to uphold the judgement of Preah Vihear Provincial Court,” Judge Dany said. “The accused has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court within the period of one month, if he does not agree.”

According to Judge Dany, on August 24 at about 3pm, Mr Va sold $2,000 worth of methamphetamine to an undercover officer who posed as a dealer.

She said after Mr Va sold the drugs to the undercover officer, police moved in and arrested Mr Va.

“After the arrest, police seized 90 grams of methamphetamine, one motorbike and three phones from Mr Va,” she said.

Judge Dany added police seized an additional 60 small bags of methamphetamine, one scale and other drug related materials from Mr Va’s home in Romony commune’s Dek village.

She noted that the drugs seized weighed 111.59 grams.

Judge Dany said Mr Va was convicted on July 24 last year and the provincial court sentence him to seven years in prison with a fine of about $2,500.

She said Mr Va filed an appeal at the Appeal Court in order to have his conviction dropped and be released from prison.

During his hearing at the Appeal Court on July 15, Mr Va denied that he was a trafficker. He said he was hired to deliver the drugs.

Mr Va said he was promised $200 by a man who went by Vong, who told him to deliver a black box to the undercover officer in the commune’s Chambak Thom area, noting that he was surprised to see there were drugs inside the box after he was arrested.

He said after he was arrested, he tried to contact Mr Vong, but he could not be reached.

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