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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Heng Pov back in court for civil lawsuit over land, cash

Heng Pov back in court for civil lawsuit over land, cash

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The ex-top cop, who on Monday received an additional year in prison, is locked in dispute with a former business partner.

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

Heng Pov is escorted from the Phnom Penh municipal court on Tuesday morning.

PHNOM Penh's jailed former municipal police chief, Heng Pov, was back in court Tuesday to face quesions in a civil lawsuit filed by his former business partner over 4 hectares of city land and a sum of money.

Heng Pov's defence lawyer, Kav Soupha, told the Post that his client's former business partner, Sun Kunthy, had filed the lawsuit in 2006. He said Sun Kunthy wants the land in Prek Pra commune returned to her and also wants the court to nullify a contract stating she borrowed

US$400,000. She claims she was forced to thumbprint the contract.

Kav Soupha said his client maintained that Sun Kunthy's bid to get the land back was unreasonable. He said the court had previously ordered the disputed land frozen pending its decision, but that his client wanted the court order revoked so that he could sell the land and pay bills.

The investigating judge at Phnom Penh's Municipal Court, Chhay Kong, told the Post that he had questioned Heng Pov about the case.

"I haven't yet decided to lift the court warrant [banning sale of the land] as per Heng Pov's request," he said. "The problem will be resolved once the two parties compromise."

Kav Soupha said his client and his client's wife have legal title proving that the land belongs to them, and he in turn accused Sun Kunthy of owing US$225,000 on a car-import business she set up with Heng Pov's wife - a complaint that the court's prosecutors rejected.

"It is laughable and an injustice that the court's two prosecutors, Sok Kolyan and Heang Sophak, rejected earlier this year Heng Pov's three complaints against Sun Kunthy of deception in the amount of $225,000 for not importing [vehicles] as she promised," he said, adding that he had appealed to the court to overturn the decision by the two prosecutors.

The latest case comes on top of yet another jail term for the former police chief.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal extended a previous three-month jail term to one year for illegally detaining a local restaurant owner and demanding US$260,000 for his release. Both Heng Pov and his former deputy Ly Rasy - whose sentence for the crime was also extended - were given leave by the Court of Appeal to take their case to the Supreme Court.

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