The parents of a tycoon wanted for murder were charged yesterday with the possession of illegal weapons and sent to Prey Sar prison where they will remain until their trial, court officials said.
Following a charge of instigating premeditated murder filed Friday against their son, Thong Sarath – who is on the run – Keo Sary and her husband, Tang Sok, also known as Thong Chamroeun, were questioned and charged at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“Thong Sarath’s parents have been accused under … Cambodian penal law of keeping weapons illegally,” said investigating judge Svay Tonh. “I can’t tell you any more details.”
The couple faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $1,500 if found guilty.
Sarath, the owner of the Borey 999 development projects, is accused of masterminding the shooting of businessman Ung Meng Cheu outside a fruit shop in Phnom Penh on November 22. Two of Sarath’s bodyguards, Seang Veasna and Ly Sao, have been charged with the same crime, while two other bodyguards, Meas Sambath and Kouy Chanthol, have been charged as accomplices. Two last week said they had been violently coerced into confessing.
Sarath’s parents were among about 10 people arrested during raids on the family’s property last Wednesday night.
One of Sarath’s wives, Teav Thida, and brother Thong Bona, were released without charge yesterday, while a number of other bodyguards have also been freed.
Sary and Sok emerged from questioning around midday yesterday to apologise to Phnom Penh municipal police chief Chuon Sovann, whom they threatened last week to have fired for investigating their son.
“I want to tell you all that I am so sorry to Mr Chuon Sovann and thank you everyone here,” Sok said.
Sovann said police were still searching for Sarath and played down reports in local media that he had been arrested in Vietnam.
“I hope that we can arrest him as soon as possible. We have contacted international police to ask us to help find him.”