Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a Kosovo national who allegedly cheated the wife of the Minister Attached to the Prime Minister out of more than $27 million in a joint-venture to build resorts in Kep and Kampot provinces between 2016 and 2017.
Judge Ros Piseth identified the accused as Cokovic Denis, 56, who was charged with fraud and issuing a bad check. Mr Denis faces up to three years if convicted.
Judge Piseth said that the accused was arrested by military police on October 23, 2017. He said Mr Denis was sued by Khim Rany, general director of Southeast Asia Television and the wife of Minister Attached to the Prime Minister Kao Kim Huorn.
Judge Piseth noted that in 2016, the accused, who was a real estate investor living in Cambodia, persuaded Ms Rany and Mr Kim Hourn to invest in a joint-venture project to build resorts in Kep and Kampot provinces.
He said that to produce the master plan, Mr Denis borrowed $27,450,000 in stages from Ms Rany.
Judge Piseth said that in 2017 when the master plan was still not ready, Ms Rany demanded her money back and that between April and June the accused issued four post-dated cheques for her to cash and recover her money in June.
“But when the plaintiff went to cash the cheques at his bank, there was no money in his account,” he noted.
Judge Piseth said that in October, Ms Rany filed a complaint with the military who later arrested Mr Denis. After his arrest, police seized $458,336, his passport and other related documents from the accused.
During yesterday’s trial, Mr Denis denied the allegations. He told the court that he had never borrowed any money from Ms Rany or her husband.
Mr Denis claimed that Mr Kim Huorn and his wife prepared a plot to have him arrested.
“I had never borrowed any money from Mr Kim Hourn or his wife,” he told the court yesterday.
Asked about the bad checks, Mr Denis told the court that they did not belong to him and were prepared by Mr Kim Huorn and his wife in order to frame him.
“I checked the signatures and words on the cheques and they were not written by me,” he said. “I am a good foreign investor in Cambodia. Please drop the charges and release me.”
A verdict is due March 26.