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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Sim bodyguard appeals sentence

Former military officer Chhoeun Chanthan appears at an Appeal Court hearing in 2015.
Former military officer Chhoeun Chanthan appears at an Appeal Court hearing in 2015. Pha Lina

Chea Sim bodyguard appeals sentence

A former senior army official and head of the late Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court to once again reduce his jail time for a raft of crimes including embezzlement, weapons possession, breach of trust and forgery.

Lieutenant General Chhoeun Chanthan, also known as Mao, was arrested in 2011 on accusations of using a dead man’s identity to secure a high-ranking Royal Cambodian Armed Forces position and embezzling up to $2 million from the government, among other crimes. He was sentenced to 36 years in prison – 26 years in a military court and 10 years for a civil case.

In 2015, the Court of Appeal slashed the three-star official’s military jail term from 26 years to 15 after the Supreme Court ordered it to re-examine his case. That same ruling upheld his 10-year civil sentence.

Chanthan and his lawyer, Put Theavy, yesterday sought to have his military jail term reduced again, to 10 years, with Theavy saying he ultimately hoped the prison term could be “absorbed” so his client would not serve more than 15 years total. A verdict is due on October 9.

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