Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil case heard against one-time ambassador

Civil case heard against one-time ambassador

Civil case heard against one-time ambassador

Nan Sy (right), the former Cambodian ambassador to Brunei, in a photo taken in 2005.

The former Cambodian ambassador to Brunei was tried in absentia on Friday in a civil case against him on allegations he embezzled more than US$430,000 in state funds.

Nan Sy, who was ambassador to Brunei until May this year, was charged with the construction of a Cambodian Embassy in Brunei in 2008. Despite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispersing periodic payments totaling $432,876.65 to Nan Sy to cover the construction costs of the embassy, in May the ministry was smacked with an unpaid bill by the construction company engaged to complete the building.

“Nan Sy has been charged with breach of trust and exploiting the state’s money,” Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Te Sam Ang said on Friday.

In November, Nan Sy was sentenced in absentia to four years in prison and an eight million riel fine on criminal charges of embezzlement. The presiding judge in the criminal case issued an arrest warrant for him to be returned to Cambodia to serve his sentence, however Nan Sy remains a fugitive.

Due to him absconding, the court cannot yet set a date for the verdict in the case, despite the trial hearing’s conclusion, judge Te Sam Ang said.

Ky Tech, a lawyer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asked the court to confiscate two properties belonging to Nan Sy as partial satisfaction of the debt he owes the ministry. The disgraced diplomat owns a property in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district and another in Kampong Chhnang province.

“I would like to ask the court to force him to return US$432,876.65 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask him to pay 200 million riel in compensation,” Ky Tech told the court.