Prison Guard Sentenced to 10 Months in Jail on Drug Charge

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a former guard at the municipal PJ prison in Phnom Penh to 10 months in prison and a 26-month suspended sentence for facilitating drug use by an inmate.

While reading the verdict, Judge Chea Sok Heang said that the court had decided to reduce Choup Siek’s charges from drug distribution to facilitating drug use within the confines of the prison.

“The court…sentenced Choup Siek to a three-year punishment and ordered him to serve out only 10 months in prison,” Judge Sok Heang said.

On Aug 10, Mr Siek pleaded not guilty to charges that he took money from two prison inmates, Chea Savuth and Khem Maly, in exchange for allowing heroin and methamphetamine inside the prison.

The court also sentenced Mr Savuth, 52, to four years in prison for drug trafficking and drug use, and acquitted Ms Maly, 45, of drug distribution.

Mr Savuth is already serving the second year of a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking and distribution, while Ms Maly is serving the sixth year of a 20-year drug trafficking sentence.

Mr Siek’s defense lawyer, Dun Vibol, said that the court did not have enough evidence to sentence his client.

“I can’t accept the court’s decision. I’m not sure if my client will appeal or not,” he said.

On October 28, 2010, police raided Mr Savuth’s cell to find a small amount of heroin and methamphetamine, stuffed into 11 packets.


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