A Pursat provincial prosecutor awaiting trial on corruption charges has been denied release on bail, according to the suspect’s defence lawyer.
Top Chan Sereyvuth and two personal bodyguards were arrested last November in the first high-profile arrests made by the Kingdom’s Anticorruption Unit.
The following day, all three were charged with corruption, extortion and false imprisonment and have been detained at Pursat provincial prison, where they await trail.
Defence lawyer Kea Chhay said that he filed a bail request last Friday to the Pursat provincial judge.
“I got the reply letter from the judge on Wednesday morning that denied Top Chan Sereyvuth’s release on bail, and it said my request is illegal,” said Kea Chhay.
He claimed that the judge’s letter said his request did not agree with his client’s wishes.
Last month, Top Chan Sereyvuth retracted an initial bail request citing release for medical reasons, including high blood pressure, diabetes and leg pain.
At the time, Kea Chhay said his client’s well-ventilated prison cell had a “good atmosphere” and that his client didn’t see a reason for release while investigations were ongoing.
Kol Kampol, the Pursat provincial judge who denied bail, could not be reached for comment today.
Kea Chhay said that since his client’s bail retraction, he has consulted with family members who think he should be released for constant medical attention. In December, Top Chan Sereyvuth was rushed to hospital for undisclosed reasons.
After the incident, Sun Sao, deputy director of the provincial prison, said Top Chan Sereyvuth “could be dead” if he hadn’t reached the hospital in time. Sun Sao said today that due to leg pain, the accused could not walk without assistance.
Thong Ol, director of Pursat provincial court, said he didn’t know when a trial date would be set.
“The judge is investigating the Top Chan Sereyvuth case and I don’t know when the judge will send me the case,” he said.
ACU head Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment today.