Heng Chheang, former deputy general director of the Anco Brothers Company, was brought by prison security guards yesterday for questioning to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over fresh allegations of defamation and fraud filed by Senator Kok An last year, officials said.
Investigating judge Ly Lipmeng said Chheang, who is serving a three-year jail term at Prey Sar prison for breach of trust, was questioned over the allegations relating to statements he made to local media outlets during the tempestuous proceedings against him last year.
“Although I have already questioned him, this investigation is not completely done yet – I will continue investigating him,” the judge told the Post by telephone yesterday, but would not comment in any greater detail.
Chheang and his wife, former university rector Kolap, were sued last year by An for allegedly embezzling more than US$58 million from the Anco company.
In March this year, the court handed down prison terms for the pair and ordered they pay back the cash.
While the breach of trust case was being heard, local newspapers reported Chheang criticising the senator’s “bad business dealings”, motivating An to file a separate defamation case against the two.
Ourn Hing, defence lawyer for the incarcerated couple said that his clients continued to be victims of An’s accusations.
“It is very unjust for Heng Chheang and his wife, because they have not committed any wrongs as accused,” he said.
An’s lawyer, Long Dara, told the Post his client had strong proof and documents to support his allegation of fraud and defamation against the pair.
“My client submitted this lawsuit in December, 2011. He has asked the court to punish them strongly by the laws and also for monetary compensation,” the lawyer said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org