Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moek Dara takes case to high court

Moek Dara takes case to high court

Moek Dara takes case to high court

130218 02
Corrupt former anti-drug officials Chea Leng (L) and Moek Dara exit the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Corrupt former anti-drug officials Chea Leng (L) and Moek Dara exit the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Lawyers for disgraced former anti-drug czar Moek Dara and his associate Chea Leng have filed appeals with the Supreme Court following an Appeal Court verdict issued on Friday that upheld the life sentence faced by both men.

“My client has not accepted the decision upholding the Banteay Meanchey Court’s decision. So he immediately appealed it to Supreme Court after the verdict was handed down,” Ray Bunthoeun, a defence lawyer for Dara, said yesterday.  

Leng’s defence lawyer, He Chiv Eng, echoed Bunthoeun’s complaint and said he had appealed the verdict as well.

A lawyer for Morn Doeun – an anti-drug officer who is now at large and was sentenced in absentia to 25 years –said yesterday he would likely follow suit.  

Though Doeun fled in 2011 following questioning, his sentence was reduced by five years on Friday after several of the charges levied against him were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

“Based on the hearing, the Court of Appeal considered that Moek Dara, Chea Leng and Morn Doeun were guilty as charged... and decided to uphold the Banteay Meanchey Court’s decision,” Judge Chay Chandaravann said by phone yesterday.

In addition to the sentence, Dara was fined $300,000, and had his bank account and two properties seized, Leng was fined $21,000 and Doeun $34,000. Those fines were upheld on Friday.

The hefty sentences and fines handed down to the trio reflect the enormity of the charges against the men.

For years, the three had run an elaborate crime ring that saw hundreds of drug criminals released in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.

A verdict decision had to be delayed twice as judges sifted through thousands of pages of evidence and hundreds of witness testimony in what was the largest trial in modern history, save for those taking place at the ECCC.  

Both Leng and Dara were present at court on Friday but declined to speak with reporters. Both men have repeatedly claimed they are innocent and called the witness testimony suspect.

 

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

  • 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

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on