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Vietnamese logger’s release appealed

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The Vietnamese man took picture with luxury timber in the forests. Supplied

Vietnamese logger’s release appealed

THE Ratanakkiri provincial prosecutor on Monday filed a complaint with the Appeal Court against a decision made by the province’s investigating judge, San Bunthoeun, to release a Vietnamese timber trader, a court spokesman said.

The Vietnamese man, 41, was arrested on Thursday at a plantation in Sai district’s Pong commune by provincial immigration police for allegedly living in the territory without documentation, police said.

Under questioning, the suspect confessed he crossed the border to collect and buy timber from locals. He was sent to the provincial court the same day.

Court spokesman Hak Horn said the man was charged and sent to pretrial detention. But Bunthoeun decided to free the accused on Sunday without explanation.

“The investigating judge has authority to detain or free the accused, but the law also provides a means for a prosecutor to appeal the decision,” Horn said.

Neither Chea Pich, the provincial prosecutor, nor Bunthoeun could be reached for comment on Monday.

District police in Veun Sai district confirmed that the accused was arrested on Thursday and that he was in possession of a Vietnamese passport.

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