League for Democracy Party (LDP) president Khem Veasna was yesterday charged at the Appeal Court on allegations that he cheated a party activist out of $70,000 between 2009 and 2011.
The plaintiff, Duk Moeun, had sued Veasna at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August 2013, but prosecutors ultimately decided not to charge the politician, a decision Moeun appealed.
Veasna leads the most successful of Cambodia’s myriad minor political parties.
Appeal Court general prosecutor Ouk Savuth said that Veasna was charged with fraud and making threats. He said an investigation into the case would be reopened but declined to comment in
Moeun, a farmer living in Banteay Meanchey province, told the Post yesterday that he became a loyal supporter of Veasna after listening to him regularly speak on radio in 2008.
Soon after, he began donating about $50 to the party on a monthly basis, he said.
“One day in 2009, Mr Khem Veasna telephoned me and said that he wanted to see me and my family and visit my house. I was very, very happy with this news, and I felt that I was honoured, because he was the president of a political party,” he said.
Moeun then recounted numerous incidents where he gave Veasna large amounts of money for party needs or for various business schemes that he claims the politician did not actually use the funds for.
He said that in 2010, Veasna took $6,000 from him to buy 80 hectares of land in Siem Reap province for the pair of them, but only put his own name on the land title. He alleged that this occurred again in 2011 for a different land acquisition.
Moeun said Veasna also borrowed large sums of money and a car from him that were not returned until recently.
“I would like to ask the court to force Mr Khem Veasna to return all the money back to me and strongly punish him according to the law,” he said.
Veasna flatly denied all the accusations yesterday but declined to comment in detail.
“I deny these accusations because they are not true at all. I do not want to explain this now. I will explain it in detail at the court,” he said.