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Court prosecutor seeks leniency for appellant

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Pan Sokivatey at the Appeal Court on Thursday. Kim Sarom

Court prosecutor seeks leniency for appellant

A prosecutor on Thursday asked the Appeal Court to reduce the two-and-a-half-year prison sentence handed down to a cashier after she admitted stealing more than $60,000 from a Phnom Penh private clinic at the end of 2017 to pay for her mother’s medical expenses.

Prosecutor Im Sophan asked the court to consider the appellant’s love and sacrifice for her mother when requesting the reduced sentence.

Pan Sokivatey, 28, told the court that she worked at the private medical clinic in Phnom Penh, where she took payment from patients. After working there for more than a year, she began stealing money between November 2017 and the start of January last year.

She said she only stole the money because her mother was seriously ill and she did not have the money for her treatment.

‘Only those last few months’

Sokivatey said for every $15 paid, she would take $10 and record $5 for the clinic, stealing an average of $150 a day. She said she stole for only a brief period, while the owner of the clinic accused her of doing so for more than one year, something she denied.

“I only took money in those last few months. After [being found out], I returned about $10,000 to the clinic owner, but she never wrote a letter confirming she had received the money."

“I would like to request the court to allow me to serve only one year in prison and suspend the punishment for one and a half years,” she said.

According to court records, the owner got suspicious after the clinic’s account was losing money. The owner talked with the suspect who confessed to taking the money. The owner then called police.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Sokivatey to two and a half years in prison and ordered her to pay the owner $65,698.

Presiding judge Sin Visal said the court will hand down its verdict on February 22.

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