Tep Kolap (C) walks with supporters at the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh, September 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife, Bun Rany, has organised a mediation between embattled Phnom Penh International University rector Tep Kolap and her accuser, Senator Kok An, an aide said yesterday.
Lieutenant-general Chao Tol, deputy commander of the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit said the first lady believed the two should compromise and reconcile with one another, and end their arguments.
“I now am preparing a proposed meeting for them. The meeting is initiated by the highest recommendation of Lok Chumteav Bun Rany Hun Sen,” he said, adding that a date had not yet been set.
He declined to comment on why the case warranted special intervention, but such a meeting would mark the second time in a month that the premier’s wife has been personally involved in Kolap’s bizarre and sprawling case.
Late last month the Supreme Court dropped charges against Kolap and freed her after more than a year in prison.
She and her husband – who remains in jail as an investigations is pending – are accused of embezzling more than $58 million from the ruling party senator.
Just days after her release, Kolap, claiming to be fleeing assassins, wound up at the premier’s house.
While accounts differ, with some saying plainclothes police chased Kolap to hand her a warrant – then fired warning shots when she refused to stop – she ended up receiving refuge from Bun Rany.
Bun Rany then intervened to have the case dropped, according to then-Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Touch Naruth. Kolap said she was eager to attend the meeting and put the affair behind her.
“I think to compromise or put an end to this case with peace will be good because I need to focus on my work... I have no time for proceeding with this case in further court hearings,” she told the Post.
Kok An, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but his lawyer, Long Dara, said he had not yet been told of the meeting and could not say whether his client planned to attend.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]