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Tycoon’s mother sees new charge over ‘gift’

Keo Sary, the mother of Thong Sarath, is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being questioned.
Keo Sary, the mother of Thong Sarath, is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being questioned. Hong Menea

Tycoon’s mother sees new charge over ‘gift’

The mother of tycoon Thong Sarath, a former general at the Ministry of Defence accused of murdering fellow tycoon Ung Meng Cheu, has been charged with allegedly giving a gift to a court official to secure her release from prison in February.

Keo Sary, 57, was questioned yesterday morning on charges of active trading in influence under Article 606 of the Criminal Code, which deals with gifts to public officials.

In December, Sary and her husband, Thong Chamroeun, were sentenced to two years in prison for possessing unlicensed weapons, while Sarath was jailed for 30 months in June on the same charge.

Sarath has yet to stand trial for his alleged role as the mastermind of the 2014 public slaying of Meng Cheu.

Sary is alleged to have arranged for a gift to be passed to Pich Prumhmony, the former right-hand man of disgraced Phnom Penh court president Ang Maltey, to gain her and her husband’s release on bail.

After the release was granted, they were re-arrested on their way to the Vietnamese border.

Prumhmony was convicted last month of meddling in a court investigation, and was also reportedly charged with “passive trading in influence”, or accepting a bribe, which could see him jailed for up to 10 years.

Sary faces between two and five years in prison if convicted over the alleged “gift”.

Hav Sina, lawyer for the defence, declined to comment.

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