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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lay Huong in first of 3 cases

Lay Huong in first of 3 cases

The former common-law wife of tycoon Khaou Phallaboth appeared in court yesterday to face allegations she breached the terms of her 2013 divorce by not letting her ex-husband, and his family, see their 8-year-old daughter.

The charge is one of three faced by the Lay Huong, 49, who is also accused of masterminding a failed plot to assassinate the wife of now-Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Ros Piseth said Huong, together with her elder sister Lay Hour, 52, her driver, Leng Borey, 38, and her cook, Chan Ya, 29, were charged with not respecting the court’s decision in relation to her divorce from Phallaboth, the eldest son of tycoon Khaou Chuly.

Phallaboth’s lawyer Nhib Sokhoeun alleged Huong, after being awarded custody of Khaou Setheykola, blocked his client and his relatives from seeing or speaking with her despite the verdict granting them access.

He said Phallaboth now wanted custody of his daughter and $100,000 compensation.

However, the group rejected the charge.

“I never prevented my daughter from being with her father,” said Huong, who was repatriated from Thailand in January.

Huong’s sister, Hour, who cares for Setheykola, added the child was sent to study in Phnom Penh following the divorce, and wasn’t stopped from seeing her father.

A verdict on the case is due on April 10. Meanwhile, Huong still faces charges over an ultimately unsuccessful alleged plot to rape and assassinate Sun Sotha, though she was previously sentenced in absentia to life in prison for the crime.

She’s also accused of illegally taking some of Chuly’s bulldozers to clear land she owned in Mondulkiri.



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