Pich Prumhmony, the former aide of disgraced Phnom Penh court president Ang Maltey, was convicted of meddling in a court investigation on Friday, but is slated to be released from prison on December 19.
Judge Veng Hort found Prumhmony – described by those who worked at the court as a sort of enforcer for Maltey – guilty of unlawful interference in the discharge of public functions, a charge which carries a one- to three-year sentence.
Hort sentenced Prumhmony to 18 months, but suspended all but 10, while also dropping another charge related to Prumhmony’s alleged illegal use of military licence plates.
Hort yesterday refused to elaborate on his reasoning for suspending much of the sentence, saying he was worried he would be misunderstood.
“I do not want to speak more; I’m afraid of being misled so that the explanation would be different [from what I mean] and may cause trouble,” he said.
Court officials, speaking anonymously, have accused Prumhmony of taking bribes on behalf of Maltey, including one in relation to the release on bail of the parents of fugitive tycoon Thong Sarath, who is accused of murdering businessman Ung Meng Cheu. Sarath’s parents, arrested on separate charges, were later arrested en route to Vietnam.
Despite the suspension of nearly half of his client’s sentence, Prumhmony’s lawyer, Pheng Sydeth, called the charge an injustice because Prumhmony “did everything under orders from his top-level” superiors.