The former right-hand man of the disgraced ex-president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and the mother of a tycoon jailed over murder accusations were convicted of accepting and paying bribes, respectively, at the municipal court yesterday.
Pich Prumhmony, former aide to jailed court president Ang Maltey, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison – the minimum sentence for “passive trading in influence”, and one made shorter still when judge Yin Saroeun announced that three years of the sentence would be suspended. He also dropped the charge of interfering in the discharge of public functions.
Meanwhile, Keo Sary – the mother of businessman Thong Sarath, who stands accused of having his rival Ung Meng Cheu murdered – was sentenced to two years in prison for making an illegal payment to Prumhmony and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Sary was already serving a prison term for illegal weapons charges. Prumhmony had also been serving another largely suspended sentence for interfering in the discharge of public functions when he was charged with accepting Sary’s bribe.
Sary allegedly told police she had given him $1,000 to show “gratitude to the big teacher of the court who got me and my husband released on bail”. Sary and husband Thong Chamroeun were later rearrested as they attempted to flee to Vietnam.
At trial, however, Sary said the money had been payment for fortunetelling services. Prumhmony, for his part, had denied accepting any money.