Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Sim advisers to appeal

Chea Sim advisers to appeal

Chea Sim advisers to appeal

120103_03
Pheng Kunthea Borey, former protocol chief for Senate President Chea Sim, speaks to reporters outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court after being sentenced to four years in jail last month.

Four former high-ranking associates of Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim this week will appeal their convictions for serious fraud as they all maintain their innocence, their lawyers said yesterday.

Lawyers for the four say the sentences, which range from three to fours years each, are an injustice to their clients, who were convicted on weak evidence.

Muong Sokun, attorney for former Chea Sim Protocol Chief Pheng Kunthea, said his high-profile client refused to accept her conviction.

“I think the verdict against her is unjust,” Muong Sokun told the Post yesterday. “To find justice for her, I will be going to meet her and appeal to the Court of Appeal on January 5.”

Muong Sokun also said the 56-year-old socialite has fallen seriously ill in Prey Sar prison, where she is now detained. Pheng Kunthea Borey, whose reputation has been seriously tarnished by the conviction, is suffering from mental exhaustion and paranoia as well as high blood pressure, her lawyer said.

Last month, Pheng Kunthea Borey, former Chea Sim advisers Chan Kosal and Ponlork Ho, and cabinet member Khieu Bora were charged with serious fraud. Ponlork Ho, an American-Cambodian, was also charged with impersonating a three-star general.

Ponlork Ho’s defence lawyer Thong Chan Rithy also told the Post his client planned to submit an appeal this week.

“There was no evidence to press such a serious sentence on my client,” Thong Chan Rithy said. “To find justice for him and oppose Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision, I will appeal the conviction.”

Similarly, Chan Kosal and Khieu Bora’s lawyer, Tep Money Cheath, said there was never any real evidence or proof against his clients that they had committed the crimes and that he will also lodge an appeal on January 5.

None of the 51 companies that were allegedly scammed by the high-ranking bureaucrats have lodged complaints or filed documentation to back up the charges against the foursome. A fifth man, Malaysian national Joe Harry Mahady, also known as “Dino”, was also sentenced to four years imprisonment in absentia for his involvement in the alleged crimes.

All four Cambodians claim Mahady, who apparently fled the country in September, duped them and that they had not knowingly been involved in any scams of their own volition.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all