Fresh evidence in tycoon’s murder

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Authorities escort suspect Thong Sarath away from court. Supplied

Phnom Penh Municipal Court is to continue investigating the case of tycoon and two-star general Thong Sarath, who is accused of ordering his bodyguards to shoot a wealthy businessman.

Mr Sarath, the owner of Meanchey International Investment Company and Borey 999 Apartments, and five of his bodyguards have been on trial for two years for killing magnate Ung Meng Chue in November 2014.

Judge Top Chhun Heng said prosecutors had obtained additional evidence, meaning the long-running court case would continue.

The new evidence relates to torture allegations regarding one of the bodyguards Ly Sao, who died from sicknesses related to AIDS last year.

“The court will question some witnesses further,” Mr Chhun Heng said, adding that judge Ly Sokleng would lead on the case.

Mr Sarath’s lawyer Tout Lux asked the court not to request his client’s attendance in court, since he was unwell and was staying at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital with high blood pressure.

The accused bodyguards Chhun Pheaktra, 49, Seang Veasna, 46, Kouy Chantol, 31, and Meas Sambath, 29, are all detained in prison.     

Mr Sarath is facing premeditated murder charges, while his bodyguards are accused of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder.

During court hearings earlier this year, Mr Veasna admitted to gunning down the construction magnate on orders from his boss and with the help of the other defendants.

Phum Sopheak, 37, the wife of Mr Pheaktra, said she was unaware of what exactly the court planned to investigate.

However, she said she hoped that evidence would exonerate her husband.

Mr Lux welcomed the continued investigation, saying he had plenty of evidence to prove Mr Sarath’s innocence in the case.

Kea Eav, the lawyer for Mr Veasna, Mr Chantol and Mr Sambath, also said the extended investigation could clear his clients.

“I think the court can provide the justice for my clients,” Mr Eav said.

Heang Makara, the lawyer for Mr Meng Chue’s wife Taing Kimchheng, refused to comment, saying he would await the court’s verdict.

He earlier this year requested $60 million in compensation from the defendants on behalf of his client.

Mr Sarath was imprisoned for 30 months in June 2015 for possessing illegal weapons in connection with the case, while his parents, Keo Sary and Thong Chamroeun, were handed two-year prison sentences for the same offence.

Share and Like this post

Related Posts

Previous Article

Arrests for timber smuggling

Next Article

Chinese man sentenced over production of fake cosmetics