The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday continued the trial of British businessman Gregg Fryett and five Cambodians accused of running an $11 million money-laundering scheme.
Defendant Ty Pov, 45, a former lawyer, denied that he received a $40,000 bribe from the company International Green Energy, to use in bribing provincial and local authorities to issue land titles for 5,079 hectares in Banteay Meanchey province’s Svay Chek district. Pov said the money comprised his legal fee.
Pov said that IGE director Um Sam Ang hired him as a legitimate legal representative to work on the land concessions.
“I did not break the laws. I did not fake or produce any public document,” he said. “I did not bribe any government officials.
Fryett is charged with faking public documents, fraud, bribery, using fake documents and clearing a state forest.
The Anti-Corruption Unit linked Fryett to a $36 million Ponzi scheme involving a deal to buy land from the former Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ke Kim Yan.
Fryett was also accused of selling pensioners in Britain a stake in land in Cambodian biofuel plantations to benefit the directors of a company he worked for, Sustainable Agro Energy.
He and his co-defendants allegedly set up shell companies and NGOs to launder money through an array of fake land deals in the Kingdom.
The trial continues on Wednesday.