Pich Prumhmony – alleged enforcer of disgraced ex-Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Ang Maltey – was yesterday tried alongside Keo Sary, mother of jailed tycoon Thong Sarath, on charges pertaining to an alleged bribe paid to secure Sary and her husband’s release on bail last year.
According to an ACU report read in court, on November 8, 2015, after Sary and her husband, Thong Chamroeun, were released on bail – allegedly due to the intercession of Maltey – after being arrested on illegal weapons charges, Sary met with Prumhmony and lawyer Ros Phalla, and offered them $1,000 and $500, respectively.
Sary maintained in court yesterday that the money had been payment to Prumhmony for fortune-telling services, though the ACU said she told them during interrogation that the money was “to thank the prominent court official [Prumhmony] for helping to release me and my husband on bail”.
Prumhmony, for his part, denied taking the money.
Tuot Lux, lawyer for Sary, yesterday questioned ACU official Heng Sokheang as to why Maltey and Phalla had not also been charged. Sokheang and court officials were not able to provide a clear answer.
Meanwhile, Prumhmony’s lawyer, Pheng Sideth, maintained the ACU’s interrogation of his client at Prey Sar prison had been unlawful, though Sokheang insisted it had been in line with proper procedure.
Falling back on a slightly more unorthodox defence, Sideth asked the court to drop the case against his client so Prumhmony could help protect the nation by using his magic skills to aid soldiers at the Thai border.
A verdict is due September 5.