A man who has spent more than a year in pre-trial detention on drug charges was told in Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday that the powder in question had been determined not to contain any illegal substances, a finding that verified a preliminary result from months prior.
According to investigating judge Chuon Sorasey, defendant Suon Ouddom, 22, was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking on September 17, 2014, in a rental room in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district.
Police confiscated a package of powder in the arrest believing it to be drugs.
Yesterday, Sorasey said that during Ouddom’s initial hearing, the court had not received the definitive result of tests on the powder.
“The police reported that the preliminary experiment did not find that the powder contained drug substances. So, that’s why we delayed that case and started again today.”
However, according to a police statement read by a court clerk, a December 1, 2015, experiment found that “the result of the test states that it is negative, no drug substances”.
In spite of the finding, Ouddom was returned to pre-trial detention yesterday to await a verdict, due on January 22.