Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-Chea Sim adviser tried over bad cheque

Ex-Chea Sim adviser tried over bad cheque

Ex-Chea Sim adviser tried over bad cheque

Mey Ratha, a former adviser to Senate president Chea Sim, was tried in absentia yesterday for breach of contract after allegedly writing a bad cheque for US$250,000 in a 2008 Phnom Penh land deal.

Kong Sam Sareth, a deputy prosecutor for the court, said the contract between Ratha and alleged victim Chhorn Sarane, and Ratha’s own 2011 confession, indicated that he still owed a $250,000 commission to Sarane, and that he had tried to pass a bad cheque for that amount.

“Based on the proof and the suspect’s confession, the representing prosecutor has seen that Mey Ratha had no intention of paying the owed money to the victim, and had issued a cheque without currency to him,” Sareth said.

Kao Soupha, a lawyer for Sarane, said Mey Ratha had owed his client money since 2008, when he offered Sarane a $250,000 commission to find a buyer for some industrially zoned land, then dodged payment when the job was done, eventually offering Sarane a series of bad cheques.

Ratha is on the run from an arrest warrant issued in October last year. According to Soupha, he is thought to be hiding in Malaysia.

In an attempt to obtain his money, Sarane filed a criminal suit in March, 2009.

“Because Ratha was afraid of his arrest and jail, he issued a cheque for $250,000 to my client to get the money from a bank, but the cheque had no currency,” Soupha said. “And second, he sent two other separate cheques to the victim, with one cheque worth $110,000 and another cheque worth $140,000, but there was not any currency.”

Soupha called on the court to punish Ratha with the full weight of the law, not only on behalf of his client, but in order to prevent what he described as future abuses of power.

Ratha is the sixth former Chea Sim adviser to face criminal charges in the past year.

He had no representation at yesterday’s trial.

According to a court clerk who declined to be named, no lawyer would take on his case because they feared they would not be paid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune