Bar Owner’s Sentence for Marijuana Suspended

Less than 48 hours after being caught with nearly half a kilogram of marijuana, an American bar owner and Swedish waiter in Kampot City on Thursday were tried, convicted and released on a five-month suspended sentence.

Though police said the arrest followed six weeks of investigation into drug sales at the bar, Yanale Demyanov, the owner of the Fat Cat bar, and Blakej Bujar, a waiter there, were charged only with “using marijuana,” said Judge Hong Sokunvathana.

He declined to say why he had suspended the sentence, nor why he had waived the 1 million riel ($250) fine issued to both men, who told the judge that they had insufficient funds to pay.

“If both of them commit the offense again, they will be automatically punished,” he added.

The pair were arrested on Tuesday evening, with police confiscating marijuana oil and 494.6 grams of dried marijuana from them at the bar and temporarily detaining five patrons.

Mao Chanmathurith, Kampot provincial police chief, confirmed the suspended sentences for Mr. Demyanov and Mr. Bujar, adding that they were released by the court at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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