After doing his time on the outside, a prison official in Sihanoukville who was suspended for secretly filming a high-profile inmate and selling the footage to a Russian journalist has been invited back to work, a superior said yesterday.
Mork Sophal, 49, was lying in a hammock feigning sleep when he used his phone to capture an enraged Sergei Polonsky, a well-known Russian property tycoon, unleash an expletive-laden tirade on an associate at the provincial prison in January.
Tan Nareth, the prison’s deputy director, said Sophal, who was slapped with a three-month unpaid suspension for filming Polonsky twice, had done his time and been asked back to work.
“His suspension is over, and I think it is enough for him that he could come back,” Nareth said yesterday.
But Sophal has told bosses he is busy with family matters and therefore not ready to return to work, Nareth said.
Sihanoukville became the focus of Russian tabloid media’s attention following the arrest of Polonsky and two fellow countrymen in late December over allegations they forced six boatmen to jump off a boat near Sihanoukville.
The boatmen dropped their complaints for a combined $20,000, but the provincial court continued investigating the charges. All three men have since been released on bail.
Court officials have said bail requirements forbid Polonsky from leaving the country while the investigating judge, Sar Lina, continues to look into the case. Court president Mong Monichakrya said Lina’s investigation was not yet over.