Phnom Penh Municipal Court today convicted and jailed tycoon Sok Bun, Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agent Association president, for seven years over a land grab bid in Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Rong city committed between 2016 and 2019.
The court also sentenced five former city and commune officials to between five and seven years each over the same offence.
Presiding Judge Seng Rithy identified the five as Ung Nith, the former Koh Rong city council chief, Seng Hour Leang, a former Koh Rong commune chief, Hem Sales, a former commune council member, Ke Sorm, a former deputy commune chief and Keo Pov, a former chief of the commune’s Prek Svay village.
Judge Rithy said Bun, Hour Leang, Sales, and Pov were convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison each while Sorm was jailed for six years and Ung Nith was sentenced to five years.
“The court has decided to convict and sentence the accused Sok Bun, Seng Hour Leang, Hem Sales, and Keo Pov to seven years in prison each and orders them to pay ten million riels [ about $2,500] each to put in the state’s budget as a fine,” Judge Rithy said in the verdict.
“The court convicted and sentenced the accused Ke Sorm to six years in prison and the accused Ung Nith to five years in prison and also ordered both of them to pay 10 million riels each to put on the state’s budget as a fine.”
He noted that Bun, Hour Leang, Sales, and Pov were charged with “forging public documents, using fake public documents, intentional destruction of property and misappropriation of public funds” under Articles 592, 593, 601, 629 and 630 of the Criminal Code while Ke Sorm and Ung Nith were charged with being “accomplices of forging public documents, using fake public documents, intentional destruction of property and misappropriation of public fund”.
Judge Rithy said that they were arrested on June 22 last year by the Anti-Corruption Unit in Preah Sihanouk province.
He added that they were arrested after they had forged the land documents and grabbed more than 500 hectares of state land and villagers’ properties located in Koh Rong committed from 2016 to 2019.