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Nhek Bun Chhay alleges forgery

Nhek Bun Chhay alleges forgery

Deputy Prime Minister Nhek Bun Chhay has announced plans to sue three members of the Funcinpec central committee, accusing them of fabricating documents that suggest he agreed to use his political influence on behalf of a Chinese telecoms company.

The documents, copies of which were obtained by The Post yesterday, include a contract dated June 7, 2008 stating that Nhek Bun Chhay and a company acting on his behalf obtained a 3G telecommunications license from the government that they agreed to transfer to a Hong Kong-based firm. This firm was apparently created as a joint venture between Funcinpec and an unnamed Chinese company.

Nhek Bun Chhay is also secretary general of Funcinpec.

The alleged contract states that Nhek Bun Chhay agreed to “bring into full play of [his] influence and power as General Secretary of FUNCINPEC Party and deputy prime minister of Kingdom of Cambodia to ensure [that the Chinese company] will obtain license and approval” for its telecoms business and a variety of other endeavours.

A separate document dated August 12, 2008, allegedly signed by Nhek Bun Chhay, states that Funcinpec received US$5.8 million in the transaction.

Nhek Bun Chhay denounced the documents yesterday as forgeries, saying they had been created by Funcinpec central committee members Phan Chantha, Yim Savy and Suong Phally.

“I have already declared before the permanent committee [of Funcinpec] that it is not my signature,” Nhek Bun Chhay said.

Phan Chantha alleged earlier this month that Nhek Bun Chhay had improperly mortgaged Funcinpec headquarters in Phnom Penh and had later sold the property for $3.85 million without consulting the rest of the party’s leadership.

“Acting like this is not suitable for a party leader. I am not afraid of being fired from the party and I dare to be responsible before the law,” Phan Chantha said at the time.

Phan Chantha and Yim Savy could not be reached for comment yesterday. Suong Phally denied involvement in creating the documents, saying that he had seen them for the first time at a party meeting.

“I saw His Excellency Yim Savy take them out and put them on the table. I looked at them with him, but I don’t know where he got them,” Suong Phally said. “I don’t know anything at all.”

Din Chhunleng, lawyer for Nhek Bun Chhay, claimed the Funcinpec trio had presented the documents at a permanent committee meeting last week.

“His Excellency Nhek Bun Chhay will file a complaint to the court to take these mischievous people who faked these documents to be punished,” Dim Chhunleng said. He declined to reveal when this complaint would be filed.

“It is not a contract signed by [Nhek Bun Chhay] so there needs to be a clear investigation to find evidence before the complaint is filed,” Dim Chhunleng said.

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