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Evidence questioned at drug trial

A group of Nigerians leave Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after a drug hearing.
A group of Nigerians leave Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after a drug hearing. Niem Chheng

Evidence questioned at drug trial

The trial of eight Nigerians and a Cambodian woman arrested on drug-trafficking charges wrapped at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, with the prosecution’s evidence called into question.

The defendants were arrested in Phnom Penh 18 months ago, and police confiscated $26,000 and a kilogram of what they believed to be drugs, although analysis later revealed the actual drug content to be very low.

Cambodian suspect Morm Vanyong acknowledged in court yesterday that another of the defendants, Tony Chukwuonye, had her deliver mobile phone boxes three times to buyers, for which she received $100, though she did not look inside the boxes.

Nigerian defendant Izchukwu Chukwuma, meanwhile, testified he was innocent and only knew one of his co-accused.

The other seven defendants testified in previous hearings.

Anti-drug police officer Proeung Pheap testified yesterday that informants had witnessed the group making drug transactions, but that there was no photographic or video evidence of the alleged deals.

The trial concluded with the defence calling for acquittal based on what they characterised as a lack of firm evidence.

A verdict is due September 12.

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