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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two guilty, three free in drug case

Nigerian nationals Paul Ani Nnbabuike, 30, (left) and Jude Obi Oyebuchukwu, 24, enter Phnom Penh Municipal Court
Nigerian nationals Paul Ani Nnbabuike, 30, (left) and Jude Obi Oyebuchukwu, 24, enter Phnom Penh Municipal Court. PHA LINA

Two guilty, three free in drug case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court found two men, including a former publisher of a defunct pro-opposition newspaper, guilty of drug trafficking yesterday and sentenced them to six and eight years in prison.

Sierra Leone national John Philip Conteh, 33, was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 10 million riel ($2,500).

Former publisher of Sid Serei Pheap Newspaper (The Freedom Newspaper), So Meng Hav, 62, was sentenced to six years in prison and fined 10 million riel.

Meng Hav and Conteh were arrested last year for selling drugs to an undercover agent of the anti-drug police force near Chroy Changvar Bridge in Chamkarmon district on September 25.

Following their arrest, police seized 270 grams of cocaine and 32 grams of marijuana from Conteh, also confiscating 300 grams of methamphetamines from Meng Hav.

Presiding Judge Kim Dany dropped charges against three men, two Nigerian nationals and one South African, citing a lack of evidence. “There was no evidence or proof of the involvement of Jude Obi Oyebuchukwu, 24; Paul Ani Nnbabuike, 30; or Leonard Amazodo, 29. All charges have been dropped and they are now free to go,” Dany said.

“I think the court’s decision was unjust, because [the sentence] was so high for me,” Conteh told the Post. “I was using the drugs, not selling the drugs.”

Last month during trial proceedings, Meng Hav claimed he used drugs to medicate chronic tuberculosis.

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