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KNUP leader acquitted on drug charges

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Nhek Bun Chhay met with his supporters at Khmer National United Party's office in Phnom Penh's Chroy Changvar district in 2017. POST STAFF

KNUP leader acquitted on drug charges

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued an acquittal order against Nhek Bun Chhay, president of the Khmer National United Party (KNUP), in connection with a drug case that began with a 2007 raid on a cattle farm in Treng Trayoeng commune’s Village 1 of Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district.

Court spokesman Y Rin told The Post on March 31 that the case was acquitted by Investigating Judge Ros Samedi on March 25.

“Bun Chhay has been acquitted by the investigating judge as it he determined there is not enough evidence to charge him,” he said.

Bun Chhay could not be reached for comment on March 31.

According to a letter from the municipal court seen by The Post on March 31, the court sought to charge Bun Chhay, 59, with drug production and importation of narcotics.

“The indictment came following a letter from inmate Chea Chung, dated July 24, 2017, in which he denounced the names of several other Chinese drug importers – and some parts linked the accused to a major 2007 drug case,” the letter said.

On April 1, 2007, police searched a cattle farm and found drug production equipment and drug paraphernalia, as well as making several arrests. The detainees included Cambodians, Thais and Chinese, the letter said.

After a thorough investigation and trial, the court sentenced Chea Chung, Jin Theanvin, Chhay Khamxi, Chhah Nak Chi, Siv Ty, Ran Yan and Kuong from 25 years to life imprisonment for importing and manufacturing drugs for distribution.

Bun Chhay was arrested on August 3, 2017 on charges related to the case. On April 30, 2018, Investigating Judge Ly Lip Meng issued a letter releasing Bun Chhay from the municipal prison.

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