Former anti-drug czar Moek Dara (R) is seen at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh last week. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
The Court of Appeal on Friday continued to hear the appeals of former anti-drugs chief Moek Dara, his second in command Chea Leng and fugitive Morn Doeun in the seventh of 25 criminal cases against them.
In the fifth day of hearings focused on corruption charges against Leng and Doeun who have been convicted for allowing two drug traffickers to escape detention and subsequently seizing the traffickers’ real estate properties as their own in 2009.
The presiding judge at the Court of Appeal, Chay Chandaravann, read aloud Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court’s documents that on May 31, 2009, Chea Leng’s anti-drug police forces began a series of large-scale crackdowns leading them from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to Banteay Meanchey.
At each step of the crackdowns, illicit substances, cash and property were confiscated from arrested suspects.
“Later, after their questionings, Chea Leng and Morn Doeun had released [some of the suspects] in exchange for receiving bribes,” Chandaravann said.
“And during doing their activities, Chea Leang and Morn Doeun has also seized a total of 36 items of the suspects’ real-estate properties and their bank accounts.” he added.
“With these 36 items of documents seized, Chea Leng and Morn Doeun bribed the suspects to purchase three luxury motorbikes for them to secure return of the seized property,” the judge read.
Their appeal hearings will continue on September 4.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org