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Illegal drug trade, traffic rule violations top court cases

Illegal trade in drugs and accidents caused by violation of traffic rules accounted for most of the cases filed in the Vientiane People’s Court over the past six months, the court’s vice president has said.
Cases of stealing and fraud followed illegal drug trade and road accident citings, the Vice President of the court, Chittavanh Vongxay, told the 5th Ordinary Session of the Vientiane People’s Council last week.
The court has ruled in 1,033 cases during the first half of the year, or 54.3 percent of the total cases submitted to the court, including those from last year. There were also numerous cases regarding disputes over loans, borrowing agreements, inheritance and land disputes as well as disputes related to relationships among couples, according to the official.
Mr Chittavanh pledged the court will strive to rule in the remaining cases during the rest of the year.
He underlined the need for the court to do more to improve the working methods of its officials, adding some officials failed to properly fulfill their work requirements. Mr Chittavanh admitted that the prosecution of some cases was slow. A report by the Vientiane People’s Prosecutor showed that some 1,867 cases had been submitted to the prosecutor over the past six months. Of these, 1,685 were criminal cases and the remainder were civil cases.
The prosecutor said it has worked with authorities in-charge of prisons to list prisoners with good behaviour in order to recommend to the committee responsible for pardons to consider their cases and to propose to higher authorities to grant them a pardon or to reduce their prison terms on the occasion of the national day. In this regard, it was proposed that the prison terms of 165 prisoners, including 43 females, should be reduced on the occasion of the Lao National Day, which falls on December 2.
It was also proposed that another 41 prisoners, including 11 females, should be pardoned.
Many of the offenders in cases related to illegal drug trade and road accidents in the courts were young people.
The Minister of Public Security, Major General Somkeo Silavong, told the National Assembly recently that illegal drug trade and abuse is widespread in society and is poised to increase, despite efforts to battle the problem.
Inadequate enforcement of the rule of law, abuse of power by undisciplined law enforcers for personal gain, and light sentences handed down to those involved in the illegal trade of addictive drugs are the root causes of the problems.
The minister pledged to work harder in collaboration with the relevant bodies to cope with this issue.

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
July 24,

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