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More time needed in fraud trial

More time needed in fraud trial

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday postponed the verdict in the case of four Cambodian-Americans accused of fraud, citing the need for further investigation.

Judge Svay Tonh said documents pertaining to the accused’s company, AKRA Agriculture Partners, required further scrutiny and would be sent to an investigating judge.

According to court documents, Cambodian businesswoman Eng Lykuong claims that in 2012 she invested $1 million in a rice-export venture with four businessmen from AKRA.

Eight months later, the senior members resigned and Lykuong’s investment had disappeared, she says. Lykuong sued the men for fraud in 2013.

The charged include Cambodian-American businessman San Richer (currently free on bail), and his former colleagues Sichan Siv (a former US ambassador to the UN), Thomas Willems and William Nojay.

While none of the accused could be reached, Kheng Ly, a defence lawyer for Richer, applauded the court’s decision.

The victim also said she thought the move would help to “find the truth and reality in this case”.

She is seeking $1.2 million in compensation.

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