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Prosecutor accused of ‘threats’ to Singaporean

A senior Phnom Penh Municipal Court official has been accused of threatening a Singaporean businessman in an attempt to pressure him into confessing to a crime he did not commit.

Yap Yew Teck, director of the EWS Agency company, filed a complaint to Prime Minister Hun Sen late last year accusing an EWS staff member of defrauding the company of $170,000, which the employee said was tax owed to the government.

Teck claims that current Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat pressured him into signing a document written in Khmer, a language he does not understand, which absolved his employee, Bun Por, of any guilt and instead amounted to a confession of guilt.

“I would not have thumb-printed the document without these threats. The deputy prosecutor threatened me to write a confession saying that I had faked a tax document, but I did not do it,” the complaint reads.

The letter also alleges that Municipal Court prosecutor Yeth Chakrya told him not to file a complaint to the court because Socheat had requested the case not be allowed to proceed.

“I was told if I want to demand the $170,000 back, he would send the case to [Supreme Court deputy president] Chiv Keng and I would have a problem,” Teck wrote in the complaint.

Socheat yesterday denied all knowledge of the case.

“In all my life I have never known any Singapore nationals. Not at all,” he said, adding that if a complaint was filed against him, he may seek to take legal action against Teck.

Ho Sethy, chief of Hun Sen’s cabinet, said after receiving the complaint he wrote to Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana on January 21, asking the minister to raise the issue with Hun Sen.

Vong Vathana could not be reached yesterday.

Teck said that he wanted to know why he had been “threatened” by the deputy prosecutor while he was being questioned by the police over the allegations.

“I would like to know why I was threatened,” he said. “I was forced to confess to things I did not do. He forced me to admit that I was the one responsible for all this.”

“It’s a very difficult position to have to deal with all the politics in Cambodia. But I believe justice will prevail one day,” he added.

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