More than 3,000 students and professors from Phnom Penh International University will prepare a submission calling for the release from prison of former university rector Tep Kolap and her husband Heng Chheang, a professor said yesterday.
The PPIU professor, who did not want to be named, said the submission would be passed onto other universities before being sent to Cambodia’s national institutions, including Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet, the Ministry of Justice, the Council of Ministers and the courts.
“The main purpose of the registration is to ask for Mrs Tep Kolap, who was rector of the Phnom Penh International University, and her husband, Heng Chheang, to be released from detention,” he said.
Tep Kolap and her husband – the former treasurer of Anco Brothers – were each jailed in December for four and a half years for breach of trust after tens of millions of dollars were embezzled from the company, which is owned by the wife of tycoon senator Kok An.
The professor said Tep Kolap and Heng Chheang were “innocent” and “pure” people.
“Mrs Tep Kolap was seriously ill, but she was forced to leave the hospital and stay at the prison,” he said.
“She will be in danger if she is not allowed to return to the hospital for treatment or not freed from detention.”
About 500 students and lecturers from PPIU gathered at the Appeals Court last Thursday in a show of support for the couple.
Kok An’s lawyer Long Dara said the case was between his client and Heng Chheang and Tep Kolap.
“It is not political – it is an individual case. So students and professors should not be involved with this,” he said.