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Bail sought for Koh Kong quartet

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Screengrab taken from a security video

Bun Sokha (front, in towel), a deputy chief of staff in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, points while his bodyguard scuffles with a man in a Koh Kong hotel last month.

Screengrab taken from a security video
Bun Sokha (front, in towel), a deputy chief of staff in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, points while his bodyguard scuffles with a man in a Koh Kong hotel last month.

In Kim, defence attorney for Hun Sen aide Bun Sokha and his entourage, said yesterday that he will ask Koh Kong provincial court to grant bail to his four clients, adding that Bun Sokha had been “protecting himself”.

According to the law, the request can be made once it is demonstrated that the foursome – accused of viciously beating four men at the Koh Kong City hotel on April 22 – no longer pose a threat to the victims.

“I will try to find witnesses and evidence to make an outside-detention request for my clients through legal procedure, and it is possible through injury law, because the victims just received minor injuries,” In Kim said.

Speaking with the Post on Tuesday, Koh Kong minor crimes police chief Lay Menglaing described the injuries of victim Phat Sokha – who had to be sent to Thailand for medical treatment – as “serious”.

Each of the four victims have now accepted compensation ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 from the accused.

The injuries in question were sustained at about 11pm at the Koh Kong City hotel, when one of the victims knocked on Bun Sokha’s door looking for a necklace he believed he had left there, prompting Bun Sokha’s wife to call her husband.  

Upon returning to the hotel, Bun Sokha argued with the man and a security guard, before becoming furious and allegedly ordering his bodyguards to attack them and two others, using a pistol, an electric baton and a pair of handcuffs.

“In fact, knocking on the room door at 11pm is wrong, and it is an abuse of individual rights,” said In Kim, defending his client. “What Bun Sokha committed is to protect oneself after there is a knock on the door in his wife’s room at night.

“He [Bun Sokha] also accepted his guilt due to uncontrolled anger,” he added.

Reached yesterday, Lim Leang Se, deputy director of Hun Sen’s cabinet, said he wasn’t closely following the case and could not say if Bun Sokha would be punished internally.

“I don’t know if he will be demoted or not, but in general, if one person is sent to jail, he must be removed from his position,” he said.

Investigating judge Kham Sophary could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Bun Sokha, his bodyguards  Sum Veasna and Meng Chheangly, and driver Sum Chhaiya, face potential jail terms of three to five years if found guilty of “intentional injury”.

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