A former Anco Brothers Company exectutive and his wife were convicted of breach of trust yesterday and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for the crime, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Leang Samnath said Heng Chheang and his wife Tep Kolap were guilty of siphoning about US$34 million from the company since 2008.
He said he changed the charge against Tep Kolap from being an accomplice to her husband’s crime to breach of trust after examining the evidence. Anco Brothers’ owner Senator Kok An could sue the pair to recoup the funds and seek compensation in a civil case, the judge said.
Kok An’s lawyer Long Dara welcomed the verdict. “I am pleased the court has found justice for my client,” he said, adding that he would seek repayment of $58,973,265.28 [the amount they allegedly embezzled since 2001] as well as $300,000 in compensation from a civil court suit.
Heng Chheang, Tep Kolap and their defence team did not attend the court.
Ourn Hing, one of their defence lawyers, said by telephone that the verdicts were unjust. He said his clients were innocent. “I cannot accept the verdict,” Ourn Hing said.