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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Landowner big loser in Dy Proem case: lawyer

Landowner big loser in Dy Proem case: lawyer

A lawyer in the case against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cousin Dy Proem will today file a formal complaint against an “unjust” verdict issued by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late last month.

The verdict against Dy Proem and civil servant Seng Yean stipulated short sentences and compensation sums to be paid to the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Re­lations for forging documents that fraudulently granted Dy Proem disputed land.

However, the verdict did not address the issue of the fraudulently granted land or compensation for the woman  who says she owns it.

“The verdict in this case is very unjust for my client and I cannot accept it,” Kao Ty told the Post yesterday.

“My client, Huoth Sarom, was the victim in this case, which saw her 5.6 hectares of land fraudulently granted to Dy Proem . . . but the verdict does not mention her at all or address returning her lost land title or granting her compensation,” Kao Ty said, adding the formal complaint would be filed to the Court of Appeal today.

The verdict pronounced by Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Duch Kimsorn on November 29 also did not rectify the court’s continued failure to issue arrest warrants for Dy Proem or Seng Yean, both of whom are still at large in Phnom Penh.

Seng Yean, former deputy general director of the inspection department at the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection, was accused of accepting a US$200,000 bribe from Dy Proem to provide fake documents saying she owned the 5.6 hectares of land in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district claimed by 68-year-old widow Huoth Sarom.

The widow says she has occupied the land since returning to Phnom Penh in 1979 after the Khmer Rouge regime fell.

Defence lawyer Kao Ty’s complaint against the verdict is the latest in a long list of hiccups and false-starts in having Dy Proem and her accomplice properly arrested, tried and convicted.

The case hit the court in 2009 and has been delayed five times since, during which time the accused pair has not been taken into custody, arrested or questioned.

Kao Ty  claimed the court had a pattern of trying to prevent him from defending his client.

Dith Monty, the president of the Court of Appeal, and Duch Kimsorn could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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