The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a verdict sentencing 28-year-old Touch Veasna to 30 years in prison for his connection to more than 1kg of drugs seized at a guesthouse in Chbar Ampov I commune, in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district in 2011.
The verdict was delivered in Veasna’s absentia.
Judge Kim Sathavy said: “Because the convict didn’t come [to the court], I read the ruling without reading a statement of reasons. In this case, the trial chamber decides to uphold the 30-year prison sentence.”
Supreme Court prosecutor Chan Dara Rasmey said that during hearings at the Appeal Court and Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Veasna admitted to his wrongdoing.
He said Veasna filed an appeal with the Appeal Court to reduce his sentence, but it was denied.
According to the Supreme Court records, on March 15, 2011, anti-drug department officers raided a guesthouse in Chbar Ampov I commune’s Deurm Ambil village and arrested Veasna, Lim Chantha and Ream Sina. Their alleged accomplices and another suspect named Dy Vandeth fled the scene.
Police seized 12 packets of methamphetamine weighing 0.5kg, eight packets of pills, a pistol, drug-producing equipment, weighing scales and an undisclosed amount of money. After the three were arrested, police raided Chantha’s car and found another 0.5 kg of methamphetamine.
In late 2011, The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced the four to 30 years in prison and fined each of them 50 million riel ($12,125).
The court ordered police to arrest Vandeth, who was sentenced in absentia and was still on the run.