Tycoon Sok Rathorn, who was in the midst of a one-year prison sentence on fraud charges, was provisionally released from detention yesterday after a deal was struck in a separate case.
Phnom Penh judge Veng Huoth said that the court decided to release Rathorn after he transferred two plots of land – worth more than $210,000 – to Eang Ratha, to whom he owed $214,500. Allowing Rathorn to stay outside of detention would give him an opportunity to pay off the remainder the debt, as well as another unpaid debt to Meas Sopheary, which saw him jailed in the first place.
“The reason why the court decided to release him on bail was because there was an agreement between the two parties. It was to give the accused the opportunity to earn money to pay back the plaintiffs,” he said.
Rathorn yesterday applauded the court’s decision, and maintained his innocence in the Sopheary case, which a prosecutor characterised as him reneging on a debt, but which Rathorn himself characterised as an incomplete land deal.
“I confirm that I did not get any [money] from her,” he said outside of court yesterday.