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Senior police officer on trial over $30,000 dud cheque

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Sao Rany talks to reporters at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Supplied

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday began the trial of a senior police officer accused of issuing a dud cheque worth $30,000 to a money lender in 2016.

Presiding Judge Hong Sokunwathana identified the accused as Lieutenant General Sao Rany, 49, a senior police officer of the Interior Ministry and the plaintiff as Chuong Sophal, 47.

Judge Sokunwathana said Rany was charged with issuing a bad cheque under Article of 231 of the Law on Negotiable Instrument and Payment Transactions.

If found guilty, he faces one to two years in jail.

Judge Sokunwathana said the accused remains on bail.

He said that in 2016, Rany borrowed $30,000 from Sophal for personal use.

He said at that time Rany deposited a land title along with a cheque worth $30,000 as collateral.

“But as payment deadline arrived and the plaintiff took the cheque to cash, it bounced,” Judge Sokunwathana said, noting that Rany then asked for a delay in payment.

He said that Rany has not paid Sophal since then, leading the latter to file a complaint to the court in 2018.

Both the accused and plaintiff did not attend yesterday’s trial. The two men could not be reached for comment.

Koy Bunthy,  Rany’s lawyer, said his client acknowledged that he had issued a dud cheque to the plaintiff.

Bunthy said the plaintiff was also aware that the cheque was dud, but he still accepted it and used it as evidence to sue his client to the court.

Bunthy said his client has already paid the $30,000 back to the plaintiff.

“My client has already paid back the plaintiff and he has also withdrawn his lawsuit against my client from the court,” Bunthy said.

“So, I would like to ask the court to drop the charge against my client,” he said.

A verdict will be delivered on August 26.

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