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Ex-Chea Sim adviser back on witness stand

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Ponlok Ho (centre) is escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Pornlok Ho, a former adviser to Senate President Chea Sim, whose office has become embroiled in a corruption scandal that has led to corruption cases against five of his former staff members, faced further questioning at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

Pornlok Ho’s defence lawyer, Thong Chan Rithy, said yesterday his client had been asked by investigating judge Chaing Sinath to submit documents and evidence related to fraud accusations against him.

“He has also submitted a royal decree to the court which offered him a position as police major-general, and other related documents,” he said.

In September, Pornlok Ho was charged with fraud and forgery for his alleged role in a scam involving at least 53 foreign companies and hundreds of millions of dollars.

The suspects have been accused of charging companies to secure the Senate president’s signature for phony development, humanitarian and infrastructure projects.

Chea Sim’s former chief of protocol, Pheng Kunthea Borey, is alleged to have been the ring leader of the alleged scam, which has led to the arrest of former adviser Chan Kosal, ex-cabinet member Khieu Bora and one-time bodyguard unit chief Chhoeun Chanthan.

Thong Chan Rithy yesterday reiterated that his suspect had not committed any wrong-doing and was not guilty of the charges against him.

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