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High court orders retrial over debt

The Supreme Court yesterday announced a retrial in the case of Neou Kassie, a former secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, and his wife, Chheng Vanny, who have twice been ordered by courts to repay a US$34,000 debt.

Dith Monty, the court’s presiding judge and president, said 62-year-old Neou Kassie and his 28-year-old wife were accused of owing money to two women, Chhour Seak Huong, 37, and Chhour Seak Huoy, 35.

In separate cases in 2010, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and the Court of Appeal ordered Chheng Vanny and Neou Kassie, a former vice-president of the National Election Committee and former spokesman for Funcinpec, to repay the money.

“Based on the hearing and after listening to the explanations of the two parties’ representatives, the Supreme Court has rejected both decisions of Phnom Penh Municipal Court and the Court of Appeal because their decisions were not right,” Dith Monty said.  “Therefore, the Supreme Court has transferred this case to the Court of Appeal for re-investig-ation and retrial.”

Hin Pinnarith, a lawyer for the two women, said the decision was an injustice he “could not accept”.

“Not returning the money . . . seriously affected my clients, because they have also borrowed this money from other people as well,” he told the court.

“Therefore, I would like to ask the court to find justice for my clients, and uphold the decisions of the Appeal Court and Phnom Penh Municipal Court.”



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