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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Sim adviser to sue over fraud claim

Chea Sim adviser to sue over fraud claim

Disputes bad cheque report, saying he stopped payment because business deal not honoured.

Yin Sovanny, an adviser to Senate President Chea Sim, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Lao Sunpa, former governor of Kandal province, after the governor accused him of issuing a bad cheque.

The complaint, in which Yin Sovanny demanded 20 million riels (US$4,860) in compensation from Lao Sunpa, was filed in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 19 and obtained by the Post on Tuesday.

I ... TOLD CANADIA BANK TO CANCEL THE CHEQUE. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY.

In the complaint, Yin Sovanny states that in December 2008, he agreed to buy a sand-dredging company located in Prey Veng and Kandal provinces from Lao Sunpa.
Convoluted business
The two eventually agreed on a sale price of US$250,000 that was conditional upon the completion of an environmental impact study by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Water Resources, according to court documents.

In May, Lao Sunpa told Yin Sovanny that the government assessment had already been completed, and Yin Sovanny wrote him two cheques, one in the amount of US$30,000, to cover a portion of the fee.

No bad cheque
Yin Sovanny stated that when he received sale documents from Lao Sunpa, however, he discovered that there was no information from the government ministries.

"I told Lao Sunpa to fulfill [this] condition first, and then he would receive the money," he said.

"I wrote a letter dated May 12, 2009, to inform Lao Sunpa of this ... but Lao Sunpa did not receive it.

"I then told Canadia Bank to cancel the cheque," Yin Sovanny said in the complaint.

"That doesn't mean that I don't have the money."

Lao Sunpa told the Post that he is not worried about Yin Sovanny's complaint because it lacks clear proof in favor of the plaintiff.

"I am not scared of this lawsuit. The complaint includes no documents that can be used as evidence," Lao Sunpa said.

On August 13, Lao Sunpa accused Yin Sovanny of "fraud", threatening legal action after claiming that Yin Sovanny had issued a bad cheque and then refused to settle the debt.

He reiterated these claims on Tuesday.

"If the courts were based on justice, his lawsuit would not be processed, but I have enough evidence to clarify my case in court," Lao Sunpa said, added that he plans to sue Yin Sovanny to recover the money.

Yin Sovanny was out of the country and could not be reached for additional comment on Tuesday.

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