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Ex-drug czar points finger back at system

Former anti-drugs chief Moek Dara yesterday directed the accusations against him back at the justice system, saying that since he was being tried, so should the prosecutors and investigative judges involved in the drug cases he had managed.

The Court of Appeal yesterday neared the end of Dara and former anti-drugs police chief Chea Leng’s hearing, which addressed 10 among a raft of criminal cases against the two men, including accusations that they released drug criminals in exchange for bribes, destroyed evidence and seized drugs for their own purposes.

“The court has accused me of signing off on fake cases and releasing criminals,” Dara told the court yesterday.

“So I think the prosecutors and investigative judges who have been involved in my cases must also be charged and punished because they also signed off on them.”

Dara, Leng and their lawyers yesterday denied the existence of real evidence against the two men and asked the Court of Appeal to overturn the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court’s 2011 conviction and release them.

“The court has accused me of receiving bribes, so the court should also accuse those who have bribed me and those who received bribes to influence the outcomes of trials, in accordance with corruption law,” Dara said.

“I consider all the accusations against me as merely the accumulation of garbage to be burned in a mountain of fire,” he added.

He and Leng reiterated that they had been set up by drugs criminals angered by their work.

“They were angry with me, so they set up the cases,” Leng said, adding that the witnesses who might have been able to back him up had been imprisoned and forced to accuse him to reduce their own sentences.   

Chay Chandaravann, the Appeal Court’s presiding judge, said that the hearing will continue tomorrow.

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

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