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Suspect in tycoon’s murder questioned

Suspect in tycoon’s murder questioned

Seang Veasna, the suspected gunman in the murder of Ung Meng Cheu allegedly orchestrated by fugitive tycoon Thong Sarath, was questioned again at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday regarding his whereabouts on the night of the November 2014 shooting.

A court clerk, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said investigating judge Ly Sokleng had completed his questioning of Veasna, and would summons the other three suspects for further questioning this week.

Neither Sokleng nor Veasna responded to questions yesterday.

However, Kea Eav, Veasna’s lawyer, said his client had been questioned about his work for Sarath and his whereabouts on the night of the murder.

“During the court’s requestioning, my client said he was staying with his family in Kampong Chhnang province on the evening of November 22, 2014,” Eav said. “He said that he has never confessed that he shot Oknha Ung Meng Cheu.”

On December 2015, the four accused told reporters at the court that they had been beaten by police into confessing to the crime. Police officer Ka Ham, who was involved in the suspects’ questioning, denied the allegation, saying the men confessed after being caught on cameras mounted on Meng Cheu’s car.

But Veasna’s alibi, as described by his attorney, conflicts with an account given by his alleged accomplice, Ly Sao, on the same day as the allegations of police brutality.

“On the day when the victim was killed . . . me and my boss, Oknha Thong Sarath, and his other three bodyguards [the suspects] were eating roast beef at the Phum Yoeung Roast Beef Restaurant located near the Russian Embassy . . . from 7 to 9pm,” he said.

The four suspects face life imprisonment if found guilty.

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