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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jailed ex-police chief appeals to PM in bid to unfreeze funds

Jailed ex-police chief appeals to PM in bid to unfreeze funds

Jailed former Municipal top cop Heng Pov seeks access to nearly $1

million in frozen savings, citing family, health requirements.

FORMER municipal police chief and prime ministerial adviser Heng Pov, currently in Phnom Penh's Prey Sar prison, has written to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting that he be allowed to withdraw money from a bank for his daily use.

"I need some funds to pay for my children's study, medical treatment and food, as well as for legal services," he said in the letter from prison.

Frozen funds

Heng Pov, a much-feared police boss during his time in power, was arrested in 2006 and is currently serving a 58-year prison sentence for a raft of charges including murder, kidnapping and extortion.

The courts also froze five Canadia Bank accounts belonging to Heng Pov, holding  US$938,193.

In the letter, he said that there was no legal basis for the decision to block his money, requesting the prime minister "intervene to allow me to withdraw some money from the bank, with forgiveness".

Heng Pov's lawyer, Kao Soupha, said that if his client's letter reached Hun Sen, it would hopefully help Heng Pov get access to his money.

"There is a fear that Samdech Hun Sen's officials will not take the letter to Samdech. If the letter reaches Samdech, he will consider and resolve it," he told the Post Tuesday.

He added that the court had illegally barred access to Heng Pov's accounts on the request of police at the Ministry of Interior.

"Legally, Heng Pov's money should not be barred because it was not involved in the offenses," Kao Soupha said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Iv Kimsry, who presided over Heng Pov's trial, did not comment in detail when contacted Tuesday, but said that Heng Pov had the right to make a personal appeal to Hun Sen if he so desired.

Heng Pov was scheduled to appear in Appeal Court last month to face fresh  charges of illegal detention and interrogation, but the hearing was postponed by the court when it became clear Heng Pov's co-defendant, Ly Rasy, lacked legal counsel.

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