Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sarath co-accused says confession was coerced



Sarath co-accused says confession was coerced

Tycoon Thong Sarath appears at the Phnom Penh court last year.
Tycoon Thong Sarath appears at the Phnom Penh court last year. Pha Lina

Sarath co-accused says confession was coerced

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard from a bodyguard of tycoon and murder suspect Thong Sarath that police had beaten him and offered him $20,000 to confess to being the triggerman in the killing of tycoon Ung Meng Cheu.

Meng Cheu was shot on November 22, 2014, by two persons on a motorbike, with bodyguard Seang Veasna accused of pulling the trigger and Sarath of masterminding the hit. Yesterday, however, Veasna interrupted the questioning of Phnom Penh police official Tey Visal to ask questions of his own. “I want to ask why Hun Touch and a man named Leng came to tell me to accept $20,000 from Ung Meng Cheu’s wife? What is that money for?” he asked.

According to Visal, Hun Touch was a police officer whom the public initially identified as a suspect after CCTV footage of the killing was released. Visal said Touch came to the police station to clarify that he wasn’t involved.

Visal also said that Veasna had confessed in his third round of questioning that he had committed the crime in exchange for money and a flat promised to him by Sarath. “We asked him without force,” he added.

Visal said the arrests of Veasna and his three surviving alleged accomplices came after police collected CCTV footage from three different places and compared the footage to the witness accounts. Sarath was finally arrested in Vietnam months later.

Veasna and Sao have both said in court that their confessions were coerced. The hearing will continue on February 10.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and