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Re-audit still flawed, jailed tycoon claims

Heng Chheang (right) is escorted by a police officer as he exits the Appeal Court last year
Heng Chheang (right) is escorted by a police officer as he exits the Appeal Court last year. Sreng Meng Srun

Re-audit still flawed, jailed tycoon claims

Jailed businessman Heng Chheang has called on the Court of Appeal to dismiss the findings of a new audit into the years-long embezzlement case brought against him by tycoon and ruling party senator Kok An, saying the audit’s scope exceeded its mandate, and ignored key evidence.

The audit – carried out by the National Audit Authority after it was revealed that the previous investigation into Chheang’s case was incomplete – found that even after a more thorough accounting, Chheang still appeared to have stolen more than $7.7 million, down from the $58 million he was convicted of stealing in 2011.

However, in a letter dated December 16, Chheang argued that the new audit was just as flawed because it had examined transactions that occurred outside the timeframe when he was deputy director of An’s Anco Brothers Co LTD – when the crimes were allegedly committed – and ignored other transactions that would have exonerated him.

“This report on the re-audit, which was made by the National Audit Authority, has no juristic value for use in the Appeal Court’s penal case … because it was made without respecting the court’s warrant,” Chheang’s letter reads.

According to the official re-audit, dated December 11 and signed by National Audit Authority President Som Kimsour, Chheang transferred a total of $60.5 million from An’s account into his own accounts or those of his relatives. Chheang then transferred $52.8 million back into An’s accounts, leaving a $7.7 million discrepancy.

Neither An nor Kimsour and her fellow auditing official, Thuch Panhchak Kampol, could be reached for comment.

An’s defence attorney, Long Dara, said yesterday that he could not comment.

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