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King pardons two more in fraud case

Ponlork Ho, a former adviser to Senate President Chea Sim, and Khieu Bora, an ex-lieutenant general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, both serving prison terms for their parts in a fraud scandal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, were released from jail last month after receiving royal pardons, a defense lawyer said yesterday.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Ho, 58, to four years, and Bora, 52, to three years in 2011, for defrauding at least 51 foreign companies in scams that date back almost a decade and total hundreds of millions of dollars.

Along with his other crimes, Ho was charged with impersonating a three-star general.

Ho and Bora were released from Prey Sar prison on November 23, according to their lawyer, Thong Chan Rithy.

“They were released after receiving his majesty the King’s royal amnesty pardoning,” Chan Rithy said yesterday.

Bora and Ho become the second and third participants in the wide-ranging fraud case to have received royal pardons. Kunthea Borey, 57, former protocol chief to Chea Sim, was released in July on “medical grounds” before completing her four-year sentence.

The other of the four Cambodians convicted in the case, former Chea Sim adviser Chan Kosal, died of lung cancer in his cell at Prey Sar prison on June 13, 2012.

A fifth man, Malaysian national Joe Harry Mahady, was sentenced to four years in absentia for his involvement in the alleged crimes but never arrested.

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