Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - More graft charges mulled

More graft charges mulled

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Brigadier General Pich Prumhmony is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court by prison guards in March after being questioned. Vireak Mai

More graft charges mulled

Disgraced former Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Ang Maltey, his ex-right-hand man and the mother of tycoon Tong Sarath may face new charges over an alleged pay-off in February to grant the latter and her husband bail amid a manhunt for their son.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy chief Ly Sophana flagged possible bribery charges yesterday after a hearing for Maltey’s ex-right-hand man, army Brigadier General Pich Prumhmony, 55.

Sophana said Prumhmony was grilled over accusations he secured a bribe on behalf of his boss to grant bail to Sarath’s father, Thong Chamroeun, and mother, Keo Sary, in February.

The couple were recaptured a week later allegedly trying to flee to Vietnam in an ambulance, triggering insinuations by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Maltey had accepted a million-dollar bribe.

Sophana said Sary, 57, also faced questioning on Wednesday over the alleged pay-off, after the Anti-Corruption Unit forwarded the case to the court for further investigation.

He said the two suspects had not been officially charged but explained the accusations against Prumhmony fell under Article 595 of the Criminal Code, which relates to taking bribes and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Allegations against Sary, he said, come under Article 606, which deals with offering bribes and carries a potential five-year term.

“I will investigate the matter further before I decide [on the charges],” he added.

As for Maltey – who was arrested last Friday and charged by the Kandal Provincial Court with embezzlement in a separate case – Sophana said he faced the same allegations as Prumhmony but had yet to be questioned over the alleged pay-off.

Sarath’s parents were arrested in December after illegal firearms were found at their home by police investigating the murder of businessman Ung Meng Cheu, a hit allegedly masterminded by their son, who was arrested in April in Vietnam.

Maltey was swiftly fired amid the premier’s criticism of their alleged escape.

The ACU then began investigating his conduct as a judge, leading to his arrest on April 8 amid allegations of widespread graft.

Prumhmony, detained in Prey Sar prison since February 19, has also been accused of pressuring judicial officials while working for Maltey.

He has been charged by the municipal court with unlawful interference with the performance of public functions, and the unauthorised use of a vehicle with military or police licence plates.

Yesterday, outside court, Prumhmony rejected all accusations of wrongdoing.

“I am innocent and am also the victim of accusations in these cases.

I would like to ask the court to find the truth and justice for me and release me,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh