Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bun Sokha set free in Koh Kong

Bun Sokha set free in Koh Kong

Bun Sokha set free in Koh Kong

120710_02
Bun Sokha (in towel), a deputy chief of staff in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, beats a man in a Koh Kong hotel last month with the help of bodyguards. Photograph taken from a security video screengrab.

Bun Sokha (in towel), a deputy chief of staff in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, beats a man in a Koh Kong hotel last month with the help of bodyguards. Photograph taken from a security video screengrab.

Koh Kong Provincial Court “quietly and hurriedly” released former Hun Sen assistant Bun Sokha and his three accomplices yesterday morning, but hadn’t announced whether the four were found guilty of assaulting four men in a Koh Kong hotel in April, NGO representatives said.

Sokha, 38, the former deputy chief of staff of Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, and three members of his entourage confessed in court on July 5 to brutally beating the four victims – an event that was caught on a hotel security camera and later posted on YouTube – however, even police said they were clueless as to the verdict.

“I was informed that they were brought to the court to hear the verdict and after that they are free. They are not in prison,” said provincial minor crimes police chief Lay Menglaing. “I have not received a copy of the verdict so I could not tell more,” added Menglaing, whose office preliminarily charged and gathered evidence against the defendants.

In Kim, the defendants’ lawyer, said he “did not receive information about the verdict or release of my clients”.

Human rights groups found themselves in the dark as well.

“The court announced it quietly and hurriedly, and we regret they were released,” said In Kongchit, provincial coordinator for the rights group Licadho. “It shows the court is a tool for rich and powerful people to use against ordinary people.”

Adhoc provincial coordinator Neang Boratino said the case displayed evidence of nepotism.

“The prosecution officials did not appeal, that is why they are released, and the court tried to hide information from us, so there must be irregularities in their decision,” he said.

Victim Phat Sokha was also unaware of the outcome, and he attended the trial.

“I regret that I did not hear the verdict,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]
Kim Yuthana at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman