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Court upholds verdict in ex-cop’s jail break

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday upheld a conviction in absentia against Hang Vuthy – the former right-hand man of disgraced ex-municipal police chief Heng Pov – for breaking out of the capital’s Prey Sar prison.

Judge Leang Samnath said the court had “decided to reject a complaint” from Vuthy regarding the two-year sentence he was dealt for the 2006 jail break.

“He has the right to appeal this court’s decision with the Court of Appeal in the period of 30 days if he does not accept it,” Samnath said.

Vuthy – the former deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s serious crimes police, who was given the nickname the “Chief of All Devils” for his tenacity – was originally arrested in 2006 for the attempted murder of National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha, and a raft of other charges.

After breaking out of prison six months later, he was sentenced in absentia in 2009 to more than 60 years in prison for the offences.

In 2012, Vuthy surrendered and requested a retrial. But so far, all convictions have been upheld.

Vuthy yesterday said he would appeal the court’s decision.

“It is unjust”, he said of the verdict, explaining that he was forced to break out of the prison because of fears for his safety.

Vuthy’s lawyer, Chan Hourn, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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