Heng Chheang, the jailed ex-deputy general director of senator Kok An’s Anco Brothers Co, may have been improperly convicted of embezzling more than US$58 million from the tycoon, according to a letter sent to the Supreme Court from the Ministry of Economy and Finance last month.
A copy of the August 17 letter obtained by the Post shows the president of the ministry’s National Accounting Council, Ngy Tayi, recommended a “counter-audit” of court-appointed auditor Kak Ky’s 2011 investigation, maintaining that Ky had appeared before the council in November 2011 and confirmed that only the half of his audit concerning expenditures was complete, despite having “had a duty to continue auditing this until completely done with both money expenditures and incomes, in accordance with Phnom Penh Court’s investigative judge”.
Tayi went on to write that Ky had been sent two letters ordering him to inform investigative judges that the evidence against Chheang was incomplete, but that Ky had failed to do so, allowing Chheang and his wife to be slapped with prison time after being found guilty in both the initial trial in March and the subsequent appeal in July, possibly violating article 35 of Cambodia’s Constitution.
“Therefore, the governing authority has a duty to write to His Excellency President of Supreme Court, and His Excellency General Prosecutor of the Supreme Court asking them to consider a counter-audit for Kak Ky’s audit report,” he wrote.
Chheang, who has maintained his innocence since last December when the suit was filed, applauded the development in a letter to the court issued by his attorney.
“I strongly believe that after receiving the NAC’s letter, the Supreme Court will have a clear basis in deciding on our case,” he wrote to the Post.
Court president Dith Munty and general prosecutor Chea Leang could not be reached for comment, nor could Kak Ky.
Long Dara, a lawyer for Kok An, declined to comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]