A Japanese man and his Cambodian ex-fiancee squared off at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday in a civil suit intended to determine ownership of a home allegedly bought by the businessman before the couple separated just before their wedding in 2014.
Plaintiff Suzuki Takuma, 40, claims that defendant Mom Dydaneth, 22, should repay the cost of her dowry and engagement expenses, totalling $9,000, in addition to $69,000 for the home he bought for them to share in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune.
Takuma told the court he met Dydaneth in 2012 while working in Cambodia and proposed to her in 2013, following traditional Cambodian customs.
He maintained that he spent $4,000 on their engagement ceremony, and an additional $5,000 was lent to the bride’s mother. In early 2014, he claims the relationship became untenable and the couple called off the engagement.
However, the principle issue, according to Sum Chamrong, Takuma’s defence lawyer, is that house was purchased under Mom Dydanetha’s name.
“Because my client was a foreigner, she put the house ownership in her name,” he said.
Mom Dynadeth, however, told the court her mother was the one who purchased the house for the couple after selling a property in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.
“He did not spend any money for the house,” Dynadeth said.
According to prominent attorney Dun Vibol, who was not involved in the case, because the couple is unmarried, it will be more difficult for the court to rule in Takuma’s favour.
Presiding judge Kor Vandy will issue a verdict on April 2.