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Ex-TV presenter acquitted in legal battle with tycoon

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Pich Rita, formerly a TV presenter and Miss Grand Cambodia contestant, shows up at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month. Facebook

Ex-TV presenter acquitted in legal battle with tycoon

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has decided to drop the charge against Mean Pich Rita, a former Miss Grand Cambodia contestant and TV presenter involved in counter suits with tycoon Heng Sear, who held the honorific Oknha.

Pich Rita, 20, was initially placed in pre-trial detention on May 11 on charge of theft with aggravating circumstances for allegedly stealing Sear’s iPhone and attacking him with a knife. Later that day, she filed a counter suit against Sear, 60, for “attempted rape” in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district on May 4.

She was later released on bail on May 13 after being provided with legal assistance from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s volunteer lawyer group.

According to a letter signed by Investigating Judge Koy Sao and deputy prosecutor Song Chavoan on June 7, the charge against her was now dropped.

In the letter, Judge Koy Sao explained that Pich Rita did not commit actions that could be regarded as aggravated theft merely because there was violence involved. On the contrary, he said, Pich Rita had acted in self-defence against misconduct perpetrated by Sear.

“We decided to drop the charges against Mean Pich Rita, 20, for aggravated theft … a criminal offence punishable under articles 353 and 357 of the Criminal Code,” said the letter.

The court also decided to return the phones that had been confiscated from Sear and Pich Rita as evidence but retained the small knife since it was a weapon.

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