The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday denied the bail request of alleged British fraudster Gregg Fryett, despite his defence presenting new evidence from the Ministry of Interior that appears to clear him of at least one of the charges of which he stands accused.
Fryett – who is also wanted in Britain for allegedly cheating elderly investors – has been charged in Cambodian court with fraud with aggravating circumstances, bribery, faking public documents, using the fake documents and clearing and occupying state forests illegally.
However, according to Ministry of Interior documents presented by his defence yesterday, the forests in question had already been cleared upon their sale to Fryett by Mao Maley, a businesswoman and the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kimyan.
The ministry’s investigation said nothing about the other charges against Fryett, and presiding judge Chuon Soreasey ruled that it was still necessary to keep him in jail to ensure his presence at his upcoming trial.
“If he does not accept this court’s decision, he can appeal it to Court of Appeal under the procedures of Cambodian law,” Soreasey said.
In an email yesterday, Fryett said he would do just that, and called the case against him “a clearly illegal prosecution” in light of the new evidence, of which there would be more to follow, he said.
“There is more evidence to come to court,” he said. “We shall see how far the current court wants to go.”