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Former Police Chief Handed Seven More Years in Prison

Former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov was sentenced seven years in prison Thursday for illegally locking up a woman for more than two months, as a series of hearings shedding light on the dubious nature of Cambodia's security apparatus continued.

Heng Kim Leang, a high school teacher from Kampong Speu, told Phnom Penh Municipal Court she had been held for 70 days in 2005 after she was accused of bribing authorities to release her brother, who had been accused of robbery, a charge she denied.

An underling, Ly Rasy, the former deputy chief of Phnom Penh's minor crime bureau , received six years on the same charge.

The court ordered Heng Pov and Ly Rasy to pay $25,000 each to compensate Heng Kim Leang.

Heng Pov's lawyer said he would appeal the decision.

Heng Pov, a former adviser to Prime Minster Hun Sen, is already serving 18 years for the murder of a judge. He was cleared of extortion charges Wednesday but faces more criminal charges in coming days.

He fled the country last year and sought refuge in Europe from Malaysia. He penned lengthy statement before he was extradited that blamed Prime Minister Hun Sen for a 1997 grenade attack on an opposition rally and pinned the murder of popular actress Piseth Pilika on National Police Chief Hok Lundy.