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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Leng torched drug stockpile

Chea Leng torched drug stockpile

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday continued to hear the appeal of former anti-drug figures Moek Dara and Chea Leng for the 12th and 13th cases of the 25 criminal case convictions for which they each received a life sentence from Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court in 2011.

Presiding judge Chay Chandaravann cited extreme measures the two had taken to cover the tracks of their corruption, bribe-taking and siphoning off of narcotics, property and cash.

“Chea Leng had kept the drug seizures at his offices without permission from the prosecutor, and after about a year, when his corruption scandal was spread out, he burned it all in order to destroy the proof,” Chandaravann read from the lower court’s findings.

For the past few weeks of hearings in the touted “most complex” appeal to hit the Cambodian court system, not a single witness has been summonsed to give testimony.  

Chandaravann has been revisiting the lower courts’ findings and Dara and Leng have been providing their own protestations of innocence.

In cases examined yesterday, the judge again examined the pattern of Leng reporting drug traffickers and drug users in return for bribes, and Dara’s role in signing off on the fraudulent reports.

Along the way, Leng pocketed 50 packages of methamphetamines, three kilograms of heroin, cash and a luxury motorbike, the court heard.

Their appeal hearings continue today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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