Appeal Court Upholds Japanese Man’s 25 Year Smuggling Sentence

Phnom Penh: The Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Appeal on the morning of September 28, 2021, held a hearing to announce the verdict on the appeal of a Japanese man accused who was sentenced by the lower court to 25 years imprisonment in connection with the transportation of nearly 2 kilograms of cross-border drugs from Cambodia to Japan via Phnom Penh International Airport in February 2020.

Judge Pov Phousun, presiding judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Appeal, said during the hearing that the accused was Nonaka Shunichi, a 73-year-old Japanese tourist.

Judge Phu Sun said that the accused was sentenced by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on October 22, 2020 to 25 years in prison for transporting drugs across the border under Article 40 of the Law on Drug Control.

The Japanese man appealed the court’s decision to the Court of Appeal for a commutation of his sentence.

During the September 15 hearing, defendant Nonaka Shunichi pleaded guilty, but claimed that the drugs confiscated from his suitcase did not belong to him.

He said the drugs belonged to a Nigerian man who hired thim to transport him from Phnom Penh to Japan in exchange for money.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s verdict, but opened the way for the accused to appeal to the Supreme Court in accordance with legal procedures. CEN

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