Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moek Dara appeal case ends

Moek Dara appeal case ends

121109_06
Former anti-drug chief Moek Dara (L) enters the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Former anti-drug chief Moek Dara (L) enters the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Appeal hearings in the case of disgraced former anti-drug czar Moek Dara and his associate, Chea Leng, wrapped up yesterday with both men – as well as the lawyer for a third defendant currently at large – pleading innocence, once again.

In January, the pair received life sentences and hundreds of thousands in fines for more than 20 counts of bribery and drug trafficking. A third man, the fugitive former anti-drugs officer Morn Doeun, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

During a lower court hearing that lasted several weeks, testimony from hundreds of witnesses detailed how the men created an elaborate crime network that netted them hundreds of thousands of dollars and saw hundreds of known traffickers go free in exchange for bribes.

At court yesterday, the defendants pled for the convictions to be overturned.

“Due to the hearings, I have recognised that there was a shortfall in my governance, and I had been mistaken in governing my subordinates, which caused some of them to commit other illegal activities in my anti-drug department, but it was not my intention,” said the former head of the National Anti-Drugs Authority.

“I would like to ask the court to arrest them and bring them to the court and punish them according to the laws in order to maintain the value and honour of the anti-drug police, and to join with our royal government in cracking down on drug trafficking by 2015, successfully.”

Echoing the sentiments of his former boss, Chea Leng insisted he was one of the good guys.

“I worked very hard to combat and crack down on drug trafficking for my country, but instead, I was accused of being a drug trafficker,” he said.

“I have not committed any crime as accused. I would like to ask the court to drop the charges against me and release me,” he added.

Presiding Judge Chay Chandaravann said a verdict would be handed down on December 31.

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

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

People drive past an advertisement for beer.

Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive on Friday banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on June 3 and 4 to prevent unrest during commune el

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a