Senate President Chea Sim’s protocol chief was formally charged on Wednesday evening with fraud and producing fake public documents, an official said yesterday.
National Military Police chief Kheng Tito said that Kunthea Borey – one of five officials with links to Chea Sim who have been arrested recently – was charged based on information provided by the Senate president’s former bodyguard unit chief, Chhoeun Chanthan. He was arrested in August in connection with the same case.
“She [Kunthea Borey] was sent by police to detention at Prey Sar Prison awaiting further investigations and trial in the future,” he said.
Chea Sim’s former advisers Chan Kosal and Ponlork Ho together with former cabinet member Khieu Bora were arrested by officials on Friday and Sunday last week. They have also all been charged in connection with an alleged scam based on information from Chhoeun Chanthan.
Kheng Tito declined to comment in detail about the offence the charges stemmed from but links have been made in local media between the arrests and the appearance of Ponlork Ho and Chan Kosal on the blog of Malaysian businessman Armin Baniaz Pahamin in connection with an unspecified business deal.
Armin Baniaz Pahamin has not responded to emailed inquiries from the Post.
Kunthea Borey’s defence lawyer Kouy Thunna yesterday denied the allegations against his client and vouched for her good character. He added that Kunthea Borey had not committed any wrongdoing.
“She is very sincere and honest. Based on her sincerity and honesty, I can assume that she is a victim in this case,” he said.
Kunthea Borey’s fall from grace had taken her from a respected position in society to a prison cell with 40 other inmates, he added, requesting that she be released on bail based on her proven good character.