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Disbarred lawyer to walk free

Disbarred lawyer David Chanaiwa, convicted along with his nephew and a friend last year of beating journalists who filmed the aftermath of a car accident they were involved in, saw his sentence reduced from three years to one at the Court of Appeal yesterday.

According to police, Chanaiwa and his companions had been in two cars that crashed on Monivong Boulevard in March and turned on journalists after they arrived on the scene. One man was seriously injured in the attack.

Chanaiwa, 41, was arrested on March 19, along with his nephew Prak Ou Fie, 20, and was later convicted of committing violent acts and illegally using a weapon.

Judge Khun Leang Meng said the sentences were being reduced because the victims of the incident had withdrawn their complaint, and while the suspects had resorted to violence, a gun wasn’t fired during the episode.

In June, Chanaiwa was sentenced to three years in jail, with a fine of six million riel ($1,500), while Ou Fie and Yean Sina, 44, a former secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice who was also at the scene, were each sentenced to two years in prison and fined four million riel ($975).

Despite fleeing before serving any jail time, Sina’s sentence was suspended yesterday, while Ou Fie’s sentence was reduced to 11 months and 15 days.

Yesterday, Chanaiwa expressed his joy following the decision.

“I have nothing to say but I’m over the moon about the decision,” he said.

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