Two men pleaded for lower sentences in the Appeal Court on Tuesday after being found guilty in the lower court of having dealt in 25g of methamphetamine in Phnom Penh last year.
The lower court had earlier sentenced them to seven and eight years in prison.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Judge In Vanvibol read a court note to both suspects which said that on April 24 last year, Lor Tilong, 23, and Vis Daroth, 19, rode a motorbike into Champuh Ka’ek pagoda in Chbar Ampov district in Phnom Penh.
Police stopped them to examine the vehicle and found two packages of methamphetamine powder inside Vis Daroth’s safety helmet and other 13 packages on Tilong’s person.
He said after being arrested, Tilong led police to the arrest of his two accomplices, but they were only drug addicts and not dealers. Hence, they were sent to a rehabilitation centre.
On October 19, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Daroth to seven years in prison and Tilong to eight years. They were also fined 12 million riel ($2,500) each for drug trafficking and using drugs illegally under Article 40 of the Law on Drug Management.
Tilong acknowledged that the note the judge read represented the truth, but he said the lower court’s sentence was too heavy.
“I filed an appeal because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced me to many years in prison. Please . . . I ask the Appeal Court to reduce it to only five or six years instead,” he said.
Vis Daroth also agreed with the court note and said the court should lighten his sentence, too.
“The lower court gave me many years in prison, so I asked the Appeal Court to reduce my prison term to four or five years,” he said.
Prosecutor Sar Yous Thavirak said he supported the appeal as the two had pleaded guilty. He urged the judges to consider their requests for a lower sentence.
Aing Teckhai, the defence lawyer for the suspects, said his clients confessed to the charge, but they complained to the Appeal Court because they thought that the prison term handed down by the lower court was too heavy. He asked the Appeal Court to examine the case based on the law.
Judge In Vanvibol announced that the verdict will be handed down on March 22.