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Woman denies buying drugs inside Prey Sar

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Tep Srey Pov was brought to the Supreme Court for trial on Wednesday. Kim Sarom

Woman denies buying drugs inside Prey Sar

In the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a woman denied allegations that she attempted to purchase drugs over the phone while held in Prey Sar Prison on drug trafficking charges.

Tep Srey Pov, 45, told Judge Kim Sothavy that she did not try to buy 100gm of methamphetamine over the phone from Ky Bun Lay, 27 while being held in prison in 2013.

Srey Pov was initially sentenced to two years in prison for her role in drug trafficking in 2013, but she was due to serve only eight months of it. When officers accused her of making the alleged phone call, she only had three months of her sentence remaining.

“I deny the charge. I do not know Ky Bun Lay. It is not true that I purchased drugs through the phone while in prison. In prison, we have a mobile phone for prisoners to contact their families."

“The prisoners are allowed to call families for well-being issues only. Other issues are prohibited from the phone conversation,” she said.

Bun Lay was arrested by Phnom Penh police in December 2014 on drug trafficking charges after being caught in possession of five packages of methamphetamine.

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Srey Pov and Buy Lay to 12 years in prison each under Article 40 of the Law on Drugs Control for the alleged phone transaction.

Srey Pov’s defence lawyer Lim Eng Ratanak said police had unfairly assumed her involvement based on her previous drug trafficking conviction.

“If the court accused my client of purchasing drugs through the phone from the prison, we need to examine the recorded phone call. You cannot accuse people without proper evidence. I asked the court to drop the charge and release my client,” he said.

Bun Lay’s defence lawyer Sam Chamroeun said his client admitted involvement in drug trafficking but denied knowing Srey Pov. Supreme Court prosecutor Ouk Kimseth asked the court to review Bun Lay’s case as he had confessed and assisted the municipal court.

Judge Sothavy said a verdict will be issued on Friday.

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