Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a senior police officer in absentia to 18 months in jail for cheating a soldier out of $4,000 by promising he would get him a job.
Judge Say Sarun said Colonel Keo Savatey, 51, a deputy chief at the Interior Ministry’s personnel department, was convicted of fraud and a warrant has been issued for his arrest after he disappeared while on bail.
“The court has decided to convict him in absentia to 18 months in prison,” Judge Sarun said. “The court also orders him to pay $4,000 for damages and another $2,000 in compensation to the plaintiff in the case.”
He noted that Col Savatey was sued by Kun Vean, a soldier at the Preah Vihear Provincial Military Operation base, on January 19, 2016.
Mr Vean yesterday applauded the court’s judgement, saying that it marked justice for him.
“I am very happy as the court has found truth and justice for me,” he said. “I hope the court and police arrest Col Savatey and force him to pay me the damages.”
During the trial on October 16, Mr Vean told the court that he was introduced to Col Savatey by Justice Newspaper publisher Seng Chhili, 57, and Defence Ministry officer Ngeth Sarin, 47, in early 2015.
He said Col Savatey later persuaded him to work as a police officer with him at the Interior Ministry.
Mr Vean said that Col Savatey asked him to pay $4,000 so that he could bribe senior police officers at the ministry to secure the job.
He noted that he was promised that he would get the job within two months of paying the money.
Mr Vean said that on July 12, 2015, he paid the $4,000 to Col Savatey in Phnom Penh with Mr Chhili and Mr Sarin present as witnesses.
He noted that after he receiving the money, Col Savatey did not seek the job for him as promised and would not return the money.