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Moek Dara claims arrest a set-up

Moek Dara claims arrest a set-up

Drug traffickers out to protect their own freedom masterminded an elaborate scheme to set up former anti-drug czar Moek Dara, which ultimately led to his arrest, he claimed in court yesterday.

The Court of Appeal resumed hearing the appeal trial of Dara and former anti-drug police chief Chea Leng, who were sentenced to life in prison early this year for their involvement in a corruption racket.

Dara, a former adviser to Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim, told the court he would continue to fight for justice, threatening suicide if he wasn’t granted it.

“My life is constant suffering now because I was tricked by traffickers,” he said. “I was a person who cracked down on drug traffickers – just like the courts or prosecutors – but instead, I was accused, arrested and jailed for life while an actual drug criminal was convicted of only two years in prison.”

The person Dara referred to was Hak Eang, who is serving prison time in Banteay Meanchey province.

Leng also denied allegations against him, and like Dara, asked the court to drop the charges and release him.

Defence lawyers presented a list of denials to the court yesterday relating to some of the more than 30 cases against their clients.

Deputy prosecutor Ngeth Sarath also read out a number of statements that accused Leng and Dara of faking reports related to police drug seizures and the number of suspects arrested and of accepting bribes to halt operations that would have led to the arrest of other traffickers.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

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