Appeal Heard of Loan Shark Jailed for Torture -- unusual defense:.I think that the victim cut off his finger by himself to trick his fami
By Khy Sovuthy - July 2, 2013
The Court of Appeal on Monday heard the case of a 44-year-old Vietnamese loan shark who was sentenced to five years in prison in December for illegally confining and torturing a 19-year-old man in a casino in Svay Rieng province, officials said.
In January 2012, the family of Vietnamese national Nguyen Huu Tin alerted Bavet City police after the small finger from his left hand was delivered to them in a package along with a ransom note demanding the repayment of $2,000 which Mr. Huu Tin had borrowed while gambling at the Las Vegas Sun Casino.
The loan shark, Thay Van Nen, admitted Monday to lending the victim $2,000 dollars, though he denied any knowledge of Mr. Huu Tin’s five-day confinement and claimed that as the transaction had been handled by two brokers—referred to only as Sav and Yiek, neither of whom police have ever found—he had never even met Mr. Huu Tin.
In fact, the defendant alleged Monday that the victim had likely cut off his own finger in a desperate attempt to find money to repay his gambling losses.
“I don’t know whether he was detained or how his finger was cut, but I think that the victim cut off his finger by himself to trick his family into paying back his debt,” Mr. Van Nen said.
Defense lawyer Neang Hay said that his client could not have been involved in illegal detention and torture without having met the victim, and he asked presiding Judge Pol Sam Oeun to acquit him.
But Appeal Court prosecutor Im Sophan countered that no new evidence had been presented.
“The sentence handed down by the provincial court was lenient, but the provincial court prosecutor did not appeal the decision…so without new evidence to prove that he did not commit the crime, we ask that the judge upholds the original verdict,” Mr. Sophan said.
The owners of Las Vegas Sun Casino at the time denied any wrongdoing and said they were unaware that Mr. Van Nen had been loan-shark