Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bodyguard maintains innocence in Sarath trial hearing




Bodyguard maintains innocence in Sarath trial hearing

Thong Sarath’s former bodyguards Kouy Chanthol (left) and Meas Sambath (centre) leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after questioning.
Thong Sarath’s former bodyguards Kouy Chanthol (left) and Meas Sambath (centre) leave the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after questioning. Pha Lina

Bodyguard maintains innocence in Sarath trial hearing

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday continued the trial of disgraced tycoon Thong Sarath and five of his bodyguards, who stand accused of orchestrating and carrying out the November 2014 murder of business rival Ung Meng Cheu.

Yesterday’s hearing focused on the testimony of bodyguard Mean Sambath, who has been charged as an accomplice in the case after allegedly tailing the victim the night of the shooting, but has denied his involvement. Sarath remained absent from the hearing yesterday, with his lawyers citing health reasons.

“I never heard of tycoon Ung Meng Cheu. My neighbour just showed me the video [of the killing] on the 23rd [of November],” Sambath said yesterday, referring to CCTV footage showing Meng Cheu being gunned down that circulated after the murder.

Like co-defendant Kouy Chanthol, who maintained his innocence in previous hearings, Sambath said that on November 22, suspected gunman Sean Veasna was absent from work.

That evening, co-accused Ly Sao – who died in pre-trial detention – went out with Sarath’s brother, though Sambath said he did not know when he returned. The fifth alleged co-conspirator is Chhun Chetra.

Under questioning from the judges, Sambath also testified that he could not identify the gunman and getaway driver in the CCTV footage.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court yesterday upheld the two-and-a-half-year illegal weapons possession sentences handed down to Sarath’s parents – Thong Chamroeun and Keo Sary – last year. The weapons were found during searches of the couple’s properties during the manhunt for their son.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia