Following charges by the Appeal Court alleging that he swindled a former supporter out of $70,000 between 2009 and 2011, League for Democracy Party (LDP) president Khem Veasna yesterday criticised the Cambodian judiciary, saying that the courts were under the control of “powerful people” and therefore lacked credibility.
Speaking at a press conference at the LDP office, Veasna said that the charges of fraud and extortion against him were unfair, and clearly demonstrate that the Kingdom’s courts are incompetent.
“The plaintiff has no clear evidence, just some stupid documents, but the court decided to accuse me,” he said. “I, however, submitted additional documents and witnesses to prove my innocence, but all were refused. This clearly shows the court is run by powerful people and cannot provide justice for victims.”
The plaintiff, Duk Moeun, previously sued Veasna through the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August of 2013. Moeun appealed a decision by prosecutors to not charge the politician.
Veasna said he had known Moeun since 2008, but after an argument over several unpaid loans, relations between the two soured and they stopped communicating.
The politician further claimed that only when Moeun got to know Chhim Phal Virun, a radio host, legal adviser and Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) spokesman who has also engaged in legal battles with Veasna in the past, did he initially decide to file charges against him.
A senior Appeal Court official who declined to be named dismissed Veasna’s claims.
“The Court of Appeal called him [Veasna] in for questioning three times and was waiting on his evidence and witnesses, but he did not submit any additional documents,” the source said.
Moeun and Phal Virun could not be reached for comment.