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No side deals, says Sasa’s dad

Uth Thy (right), the father of former TV host Ek Socheata, enters Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after he was summonsed to answer questions regarding compensation.
Uth Thy (right), the father of former TV host Ek Socheata, enters Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after he was summonsed to answer questions regarding compensation. Hong Menea

No side deals, says Sasa’s dad

After appearing in court yesterday, the father of Ek Socheata, a local TV presenter better known as Ms Sasa, confirmed he would reject compensation from Sok Bun if it meant the tycoon would escape charges for viciously assaulting his daughter earlier this month.

Speaking yesterday, Uth Thy said the court had asked how much civil compensation his family would be seeking – a figure that would serve as a penalty on top of any potential jail time – but said he preferred to leave the decision in the hands of the court.

“The amount of compensation is for the court to decide; I would not like to suggest a figure.

But if he [Bun] hopes he can pay [separate] compensation to end the case, I will not accept it,” he said.

“I want the judiciary to convict that tycoon for what he did.”

Bun was arrested on July 18 at Phnom Penh International Airport, two days after an arrest warrant was issued and Interpol was alerted about the manhunt.

The tycoon had initially fled to Singapore on July 8, a day after the video began circulating on social media and national television.

Meanwhile, lawyer Put Theavy, who is representing Socheata and her family, said yesterday that the Japanese woman the actress was protecting from harassment by Bun is due to be summonsed herself as a witness, as is her translator, who was present during the July 2 attack.

“I will request that the court quickly summonses the two witnesses in the next week, because now the court has finished questioning the victim’s family,” he said, adding that he was asking for the case to be expedited due to its high-profile nature.

On Friday, it was revealed that the Japanese national had filed a rape complaint against Bun, a fact confirmed by police but which has not yet led to additional charges.

While Bun is currently awaiting trial in Prey Sar prison, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, his bodyguard remains at large.

Authorities have so far refused to name the man, who can be seen in the video of the attack waving a pistol and holding it to Socheata’s head.

He is wanted on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and attempted murder.

Socheata has claimed he pulled the trigger but that the gun did not go off.

Bun’s lawyer, Yin Sophy, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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