Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moek Dara lieutenant breaks down in court

Moek Dara lieutenant breaks down in court

Moek Dara lieutenant breaks down in court

120824_02

Former anti-drug czar Moek Dara (C) at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Former anti-drug czar Moek Dara (C) at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Appeal hearings were abruptly adjourned yesterday in the high-profile corruption case against former anti-drug czar Moek Dara and his anti-drug chief Chea Leng when an agitated Leng became so overwhelmed with emotion he was unable to speak.

“We will adjourn because he cannot continue like this and he must speak clearly,” judge Chay Chandaravann said.

Leng and Dara have received life sentences for convictions in 25 criminal cases of perpetrating the very crimes they were supposed to fight. Both have pleaded innocent and have appealed all their convictions.

Yesterday, a sobbing and shouting Leng laid the blame for the conspiracy against him and Dara squarely at the feet of current anti-drug police department chief Khieu Saman.

“Everyone at the anti-drug police department knows clearly that Moek Dara and Khieu Saman had a lengthy argument with each other over their roles and positions for a long time,” a tearful Leng yelled.

“I think that the toppling of Moek Dara, his arrest as well as my arrest was originally caused from his lengthy dispute with Khieu Saman,” Chea Leng told the court yesterday, pointing to a string of remarkably “lucky” promotions officials in Saman’s “party” had received after the fall of Dara.

“Because after me and Moek Dara were toppled, Khieu Saman was promoted as new chief of the anti-drug police department, and those police officers who were one-rank, and were close to Khieu Saman, were also promoted to [captains] or majors at the anti-drug police department,” he added.

“I am very disappointed with my life. I have worked very hard, and had also devoted my life for work in cracking down on drug trafficking in my country, but finally, I was arrested and jailed with many criminal accusations. This was very unjust for me,” Leng shouted through tears, unable to compose himself.

Khieu Saman, now secretary- general at the National Authority for Combating Drugs – a post formerly held by Dara – and chief of the Anti-Drug Police Department in the Ministry of Interior, declined to comment on Leng’s allegations about jealous factional infighting.

The court had been examining the sixth case against the pair, in which Leng has been convicted for reporting three drug dealers as drug users, assuring them only a brief stint in rehab before being released in exchange for a bribe.

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

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman