Appeal court upholds drug sentence for VN woman

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The Phnom Penh Court of Appeal. Hean Rangsey

The Court of Appeal upheld a five-year verdict against a Vietnamese woman for charges of trafficking 316.8 grams of mixed drugs in 2017 in Svay Rieng province.

The Court of Appeal reheard argument on October 26 after the case was sent back down by the Supreme Court.

Judge Kim Dany read the verdict in the absence of the 26-year-old defendant and her lawyer on November 24. Dany said he was upholding the original five-year-sentence.

The Supreme Court sent the case back down after deciding the room where police found the drugs did not belong to her. The court concluded the investigation was handled improperly.

The defendant told the trial court judge her Vietnamese husband was in Svay Rieng provincial prison for drug trafficking. With her 4-month-old daughter, she came to visit him in Cambodia.

She told the judge that after she crossed the Cambodia-Vietnam border to Bavet town, a Vietnamese motorist took her to a rented room where her husband used to stay. When she arrived, she said, the driver helped to move her husband’s belongings. The police came to check those goods and found the drugs. They then arrested her.

Police found one bag of methamphetamine weighing 82 grams, 154 grams of heroin, a drug scale and 300 meth pills weighing 80.8 grams.

She was sentenced to five years in prison by the Svay Rieng provincial court in 2018 for trafficking drugs under Article 40 of the Law on Drug Control. She filed complaints to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.