​Verdict for Areng activist still stands | Phnom Penh Post

Verdict for Areng activist still stands

National

Publication date
22 September 2016 | 06:33 ICT

Reporter : Kim Sarom

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Areng activist Ven Vorn (right) is led into Koh Kong Provincial Court in February after he was charged with forest crimes in October. Licadho

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld a one-year sentence for Areng activist Ven Vorn, who was convicted in March by the Koh Kong Provincial Court for his alleged involvement in “forest crimes” and released on a suspended sentence.

Vorn was accused by Koh Kong’s Forestry Administration of harvesting forest products without authorisation and for tampering with evidence after he purchased purportedly illegal timber to build a community centre, though the second charge was ultimately dropped for lack of proof.

Having spent three months in pre-trial detention, the provincial judge suspended the seven months remaining on his sentence.

While Vorn was not present at court yesterday, judge Kim Dany announced a brief verdict denying the activist’s appeal, but giving no reasons for his ruling.

Vorn’s attorney, Chan Socheat, said that the Forestry Administration officials were not present during the September 9 trial, denying him the opportunity to cross-examine them. He said he has yet to ask Vorn if he intended to file a further appeal. “I have not discussed with my client yet . . . but if he wants to file it, it is up to him”.

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