The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday sentenced Chan Rithidy, 45, a former major general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and a second man, Deap Sunlay, 54, to 20 years each in prison for dealing drugs in Phnom Penh that were sourced from Laos.
Presiding Judge Kim Dany said that she decided to release a third suspect, Leang Chhunry, 29, as it was decided he had no part in the drug dealing operation, which was based out of the major general’s villa in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.
During his trial on November 12, Chan Rithidy admitted in court that he had about 1 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 15 Ecstasy pills at his house when anti-narcotics police launched a raid in August 2012. The drugs, he said, had been brought to Phnom Penh by a Laotian woman, though he denied a police report that 5 kg of drugs were found during the raid.
Chan Rithidy’s lawyer, Nach Try, said he was not present in court Thursday when the guilty verdict was read out, and that he did not know if his client would appeal his sentence.
Deap Sunlay’s lawyer, Nguo Makara, said the jail term was unacceptable and her client would seek to appeal.
“It is unacceptable,” she said.
During the trial in November, Deap Sunlay told the court that he had agreed in 2007 to deal drugs for then-Maj. Gen. Chan Rithidy. The major general’s first order was for Deap Sunlay to travel to Laos to meet with a middleman who provided the narcotics for their operation in Phnom Penh.