Heng Pov asks for fast ap­peal

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Kim Sarom

DIS­GRACED for­mer Phnom Penh Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice Chief Heng Pov yes­ter­day called for a speedy ap­peal trial be­fore the Supreme Court in two of his cases – which re­late to the pos­ses­sion of fake cur­rency and to the il­le­gal de­ten­tion of a sus­pect – de­spite lament­ing that he wasn’t able to hire his own lawyer as his as­sets had been frozen.

Pov, 60, had pre­vi­ously asked the court to de­lay the trial, claim­ing he could not trust the as­signed lawyer and say­ing he should in­stead be al­lowed to pay a lawyer with his frozen as­sets.

“But the court keeps re­ject­ing the re­quest . . . If I had the money to hire a lawyer, the lawyer would put all ef­forts to work for me,” he said.

Among a hand­ful of con­vic­tions handed to the for­mer po­lice chief, the charges re­sulted in a 14-year sen­tence for the pos­ses­sion of fake US cur­rency and five years for il­le­gal de­ten­tion, af­ter he locked up an al­leged thief even af­ter a court had dis­missed his case. In to­tal, Pov has been sen­tenced to 103 years.

He re­peated his ear­lier claims yes­ter­day that Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Mok Chito, the deputy Na­tional Po­lice chief, had framed him by plant­ing coun­ter­feit money dur­ing a 2006 raid of his house, and that Chito had been re­spon­si­ble for kid­nap­ping.

“No one would leave money out­side the house even though the money is fake – they would keep it inside the house,” he said, re­fer­ring to where the coun­ter­feit bills had been dis­cov­ered. Chito yes­ter­day de­nied Pov’s ac­cu­sa­tions. Nou Chan­tha, Pov’s de­fence lawyer, ar­gued that his client had not pos­sessed fake money as charged, and that it should have been ex­am­ined by a bank, not by the In­te­rior Min­istry. He added that the sec­ond raid on the house fol­low­ing his ar­rest had been il­le­gal as the po­lice didn’t have a search war­rant.

“I would like to ask the court to free my client,” he said. A ver­dict is due Septem­ber 27.

SUP­PLIED

Two Mother Na­ture ac­tivists who were ar­rested for tak­ing photos of two sus­pected sand-bear­ing ves­sels are taken into the Koh Kong Pro­vin­cial Court yes­ter­day.

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