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Chea Sim adviser verdict upheld

Chea Sim adviser verdict upheld

The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the convictions of ex-Chea Sim adviser Pheng Kunthea Borey and her two co-defendants – convicted in 2011 of using their positions to defraud companies seeking lucrative development projects in Cambodia.

Judge Choun Sunleng also upheld the four-year sentences of Kunthear Borey, 57, and Ponlork Ho, 58, and the three-year sentence of Khieu Bora, 52. The complaint against former defendant Chan Kosal was dropped due to his 2012 death from cancer.

The three accused were initially charged in 2011 for a years-long scam in which they took commissions on government-awarded development contracts and accepted bribes from bidders to obtain Sim’s signature on letters of approval.

“Chea Sim has lodged his complaint against the letter that was signed,” Sunleng said.

The defendants, who were absent at yesterday’s hearing, have long maintained their innocence, with former document clerk Bora claiming that he could not have had knowledge of the English-language letters because he didn’t speak English to begin with.