Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Adviser to Senate President Chea Sim gets jail time

Adviser to Senate President Chea Sim gets jail time

Adviser to Senate President Chea Sim gets jail time

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a former adviser of Senate President Chea Sim in absentia for breach of contract in a Phnom Penh land deal.

Judge Kim Dany said that the court sentenced businessman Mey Ratha, 39, to two years in prison (suspended) and a fine of 10 million riel (about US$25,000) and ordered him to pay $140,000 in compensation to businessman Chhorn Sarane, 36, to whom he allegedly issued a bad cheque for $250,000 in 2008.

Sarane sued Ratha in 2009 and the court issued a warrant for Ratha’s arrest in October 2011, at which point he fled the country.

Kao Soupha, defence lawyer for Chhorn Sarane, applauded the court’s conviction of Ratha but rejected the punishment as too light.

“He has cheated many people, issued several false cheques, and lied to the court. So his prison sentence should not be suspended,” he said.

Soupha said that he would meet with Sarane to decide whether to appeal the sentence.

According to court documents, Mey Ratha was appointed as an advisor to Chea Sim on February 18, 2010. After the court issued his arrest warrant, he was fired as adviser by a royal decree in December 2011.

Mey Ratha and his defence lawyers could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from