Chau Sokhon Case Goes Before Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in the controversial drug case against Chau Sokhon, a former Fun­cinpec military police official from Sihanoukville.

Court Prosecutor Kim Phon said Monday that proceedings will begin Wednesday. Kim Phon said the trial has been postponed several times at the request of Chau Sokhon’s family. He de­clined to elaborate.

Chau Sokhon was arrested and convicted last year in one of the country’s most politically charged drug cases. The mun­icipal court sentenced him to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling after police seized 7 tons of marijuana in a rubber shipment. He received another three years on a separate drug smuggling charge.

The appeals court overturned one of the convictions last De­cember on the grounds that the evidence was inconclusive, and he was released. He was seized eight days later by police as he was about to leave the country under UN escort. Court officials said he had been mistakenly released and that the second conviction had not been overturned.

Three judges who overturned the first conviction were later suspended by the Justice Ministry.

Pok Than, a Funcinpec party mem­ber, said Monday that  Chau Sokhon’s case was not discussed during negotiations to form a coalition government.


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