Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trio of Moek Dara cases heard

Trio of Moek Dara cases heard

Trio of Moek Dara cases heard

111220_04
Former anti-drug czar Moek Dara, centre, is escorted by police at Banteay Meanchey provincial court last month.

Closing statements concluded yesterday in three of the 32 cases against former anti-drug czar Moek Dara, the one-time secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, and Chea Leng, former chief of the Anti-Drug Office at the Ministry of Interior, who are accused of taking bribes and trafficking drugs as part of a larger drug racket.

Phann Vanarath, the deputy provincial prosecutor in Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, said cases 2, 3 and 4 had finished being heard and the rest were due to be finished by Friday.

“We still uphold our charge, because we have enough evidence and witnesses to say that [Moek Dara] is guilty,” he said.    

Nop Vireak, a Cambodian Center for Human Rights monitor who attended court yesterday, said that in Case 4, a witness said he had given a bribe of $20,000 to Moek Dara.

Convicted drug trafficker Hak Eang, whose house in Chroy Changva, Russei Keo district, provided the setting for a deal involving the accused in 2007, prosecutors allege, said he had given Moek Dara $30,000.

Moek Dara was heard to say that the witnesses who had taken the stand to accuse him had been put up to it, Nop Vireak said.

“Some of the witnesses are prisoners, so they got pressure to accuse me, and I ask the court to let me reply back to the witnesses. I hope the court will provide justice for me,” Moek Dara said.

Nop Vireak said Ka Savuth, lawyer for Moek Dara, questioned why the court had not taken action against the witnesses who testified against Moek Dara and in the process admitted their own involvement in dealing drugs.

“There is no evidence that my client was corrupt,” he said.

Moek Dara and Chea Leng were arrested in January this year, reportedly after being implicated by Hun Hean and Chheang Sun.

A verdict is expected about a month from Friday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by