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Prosecutor ‘bribed’: injured salon boss

Prosecutor ‘bribed’: injured salon boss

3 Chim Vatey

A wealthy Phnom Penh beauty salon owner has filed a complaint to the Anti-Corruption Unit, accusing a court prosecutor and high-ranking interior ministry officials of taking bribes and viciously assaulting her in a conspiracy with a businessman.

The labyrinthine case stems from a dispute over $25,000 the 58-year-old owner of Samangkar Luxe Co, Ltd said she borrowed from businessman Hy Touch, according to a complaint sent to ACU president Om Yentieng on April 10.

In March last year, a cheque she put up for part of the collateral for the loan bounced. Touch sued her and in response, Chim Vatey was issued several summonses, which prosecutors allege she ignored.

Vatey’s complaint alleges Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Khieu Phalla was bribed by Touch to turn his civil case against her into a criminal one.

She further alleges Touch bribed Major General In Bora and Colonel Chhean Mony from the Ministry of Interior, who she says surrounded her car at Koh Pich on April 9 and pulled her out of it,  re-breaking her left arm in the process, which was still healing from surgery the previous year.

“The police’s activities were very cruel and inhumane for me . . . a weak, old woman and a widow,” she told the Post yesterday.

“I am not a criminal, but they have treated me [as such]. They did not just violate my rights, but also they have broken my arm and made me disabled for life,” she told the Post yesterday.

Bora yesterday rejected Vatey’s accusation, saying his officers did not beat her or break her arm as claimed, adding it was already broken at the time of the incident.

“In fact, we have invited her [many times] to come . . . for questioning at the Ministry of Interior over issuing a cheque without money. But she always did not come,” he said, adding officers were acting on a March 26 warrant issued by Phalla.

Deputy prosecutor Khieu Phalla told the Post yesterday that he had issued three unanswered summons to Vatey but was not aware the woman had been injured while being brought in for questioning.

Yentieng said the ACU has received Vatey’s complaint and is investigating it, though he declined to comment further.