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Court rejects driver’s gun conviction appeal

THE Appeal Court has upheld a lower court conviction against a woman who fired a gun into the air following a heated traffic dispute and claimed she was related to high-ranking officials.

However, the new lawyer for Khay Dara, 30, complained the decision was rendered too swiftly. “The sentence should have been reduced because [Khay Dara] has children and I accepted that it was her fault for firing the gun,” said lawyer Luong Sokha, who was assigned to the case after the
woman’s original attorney dropped out.

Khay Dara, also known as Gek, originally said she was 22 and single. In reality, Luong Sokha said, his client is 30, has three children and is married – albeit not to a high-ranking military official.

“Her husband is a normal government official who now has high blood pressure,” he said. “I don’t know much about her personal relationship with a three-star general.”

Khay Dara still has the option of taking her case to the Supreme Court. In September, Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Khay Dara to 18 months in prison and a 1 million riel (US$239) fine after convicting her on charges of reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a weapon.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned government officials to rein in their misbehaving relatives.

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