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Former ambassador fined for embezzling

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday ordered the former Cambodian ambassador to Brunei to pay almost US$470,000 in compensation and damages to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a civil case, following his conviction in absentia last year for embezzlement of state funds.

Nan Sy, who was ambassador to Brunei until May last year, was charged with the construction of a Cambodian Embassy in Brunei in 2008.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispersed periodic payments totalling $432,876.65 to Nan Sy to cover the construction costs, however in May last year the ministry received an unpaid bill from the company hired to complete the construction of the building.

Municipal court judge Te Sam Ang said yesterday that in the civil case against Nan Sy, the former ambassador was ordered to compensate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the embezzled funds and to pay an additional 150 million riel ($36,909) in damages.

In November, Nan Sy was sentenced in absentia to four years in prison and received an eight million riel ($1,969) fine after he was convicted on  criminal charges of embezzlement.

The presiding judge in the case issued a warrant for the arrest of Nan Sy, who remains at large.

Ky Tech, a lawyer representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Post that he welcomed the verdict because the court had ordered Nan Sy to compensate the government with the amount the ministry had demanded.

“The verdict gives justice and is acceptable for the government because Nan Sy embezzled government money,” he said, adding that the verdict also required the former ambassador to pay court tax fees for both parties.

“The court also ordered that the property of Nan Sy be temporarily seized, which includes two plots of land – one in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district and another in Kampong Chhnang province,” Ky Tech said.

Keo Ya, a defence lawyer for Nan Sy in the criminal case, said yesterday that he had not represented Nan Sy in the civil case.

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