The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday denied the bail request of disbarred lawyer David Chanaiwa, who is accused of beating a group of journalists who were filming a car accident he was involved in on March 18, the court said.
Judge Chaing Sinath said that Chanaiwa, 41, a Cambodian-American investor and former Chea Sim adviser, still posed a flight risk in the case over the alleged beating in the Boeung Raing commune of Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district.
“Based on the hearing . . . and in order to prevent the accused person from committing new offences or escaping prosecution, the court decided not to allow David Chanaiwa to remain outside detention as requested,” Sinath said.
Chanaiwa was arrested on March 19 along with his nephew Ma Ou Fie, 20, and is facing charges for committing violent acts and illegal use of a weapon – a charge dating to 2011, when he was convicted in absentia on gun charges but never served his sentence. Yean Sina – a former undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, who is also a suspect – has fled, and is still at large.
According to Sinath, Chanaiwa’s trial will be held next week.
Chanaiwa immediately appealed, saying yesterday that he “could not accept the court’s decision”.
During his hearing, Chanaiwa had promised to put up money for bail and to present himself at court when required.
“I have worked as an adviser to the senate. I am an investor working in Cambodia. I have my own company office and many houses in Phnom Penh. I have enough assets to put up to guarantee my bail.”
After the hearing, Chanaiwa went on to deny the charges against him, adding that he had not been driving the car on the night in question and that he had only been at the scene to help his nephew.