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

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • NOCC to contest petanque, tennis axe

    The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will lobby hard over the next few weeks for the inclusion of the Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis after the disciplines were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports for