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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dara denies property bought with drug cash

Dara denies property bought with drug cash

On the second-last day of hearings in the appeal trial of convicted anti-drug czar Moek Dara and his top associates, the presiding judge examined properties the court seized after the three were charged in 2011.

Judge Chay Chandaravann said plots of land and assets had been confiscated from the convicts because officials deemed them to be the result of illicit activities.

Dara and Chea Leng both claimed the seizures, which involved hundreds of thousands of dollars, were profits earned from family business success, not corruption.

In one of the last opportunities to address the court, Dara and Leng defended their reputations and protested their innocence.

“I would like to express that since I have worked and served for my country until I was arrested in 2011, I had never committed any bribery or corruption. I have also never been connected to drug trafficking activity or sold drugs to criminals to get money, as accused,” Dara said.

Leng’s statement struck a similar tone.

“I was not a drug dealer, and I have not sold the drugs to earn my seized properties,” he said.   

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

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