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Hauling timber: Judge frees suspect to government's chagrin

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Officials inspect and seize illegal timber in a bust conducted last week in Kratie province. Fresh News

Hauling timber: Judge frees suspect to government's chagrin

A district governor in Kratie province yesterday criticised a decision by an investigating judge to release a timber transporter on bail, the lone suspect arrested in a case involving more than two dozen vehicles carrying wood.

Snuol District Governor Kong Kimny yesterday said the decision to free the suspect after his arrest on Saturday was “discouraging”, especially since evidence is still being gathered to charge him with a forestry crime, and ordered the prosecutor to file an appeal of his release.

Kimny originally told The Post this week all drivers had escaped, not realising police had arrested one suspect, Ry Sothear – only to see Judge Eng Chamnab release him on bail the next day. Sothear allegedly slammed his truck into a police car and was charged with destroying state property.

Chea Sopheak, spokesman for Kratie Provincial Court, said the court prosecutor filed an appeal on Monday.

“The suspect admitted that he drove into the barricade and hit the back of an authority’s car unintentionally because it had rained and it was slippery and the truck’s brake system did not work well,” he said.

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