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Jailed prosecutor retracts bail request

Jailed prosecutor retracts bail request

A LAWYER for a provincial prosecutor awaiting trial on corruption charges said yesterday that he had retracted a request that his client be released on bail on the grounds of ill-health.

Pursat provincial prosecutor Top Chan Sereyvuth and two personal bodyguards were apprehended on November 29 in the first high-profile arrests made by the recently established Anticorruption Unit.

The following day, all three were charged with corruption, extortion and false imprisonment and were imprisoned at Pursat provincial prison, where they await trial.

Defence lawyer Kea Chhay said late last year that he planned to seek bail for his client after Top Chan Sereyvuth fell ill and was rushed to hospital on December 26.

A prison official said at the time that the accused was suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and pain in his right leg.

Yesterday, however, Kea Chhay said he would withdraw the bail request following instructions from his client.

“He told me there was no need to request his release on bail because his case is under investigation,” he said, adding that Top Chan Sereyvuth had a well-ventilated prison cell with a “good atmosphere”.

Kea Chhay said his client had cited a desire to aid the progress of his case as his reason for choosing to remain in prison.

“He told me that it can affect the court’s investigation if he is released on bail and he also said he does not have a problem with staying in the prison,” Kea Chhay said.

He noted, however, that though his client’s health had improved in recent weeks, Top Chan Sereyvuth still could not walk without assistance.

Ngoun Lay, director of the provincial prison, said yesterday that Top Chan Sereyvuth’s health had stabilised and that it was not necessary for him to be released on bail.

“His health is normal, he can eat, drink and sleep,” he said.

ACU head Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment.

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