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Sok Bun gives up 'oknha' title

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Sok Bun, former president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, poses for a photo next to an architectural model earlier this year. Photo supplied

Sok Bun gives up 'oknha' title

Property magnate Sok Bun has announced he is giving up his honorific “oknha” title and pleaded not to be imprisoned, amid ongoing indignation over a video released last week showing him savagely beating a woman.

In a statement released through his lawyer Yin Sophy today, Bun also offered his victim, former TV host Ek Socheata, $100,000 in compensation. Socheata, better known as Ms Sasa, has previously said she rejected an earlier offer of $40,000 in compensation and wants Bun to face justice. In a separate statement, also made public today, Bun resigned as president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association, a real estate industry body.

The title of oknha is bestowed upon people who have made a significant contribution to development in Cambodia, and normally requires a $100,000 donation to the government.

In the first statement, which only carried the signature of his lawyer, Bun pleaded with Prime Minister Hun Sen to guarantee his freedom, “to fulfil my obligation as a father and husband for my family.”

Sophy said the letter had been passed on by Bun’s family.

“He really wants to compromise. This letter comes from his own will to make a public apology,” Sophy said

Sophy declined to say where Bun is now hiding, though he is reportedly in Singapore, having apparently fled there on July 8, a day after the video began to circulate widely on social media before being picked up by television companies.

In it Bun can be seen repeatedly punching and kicking Sasa in the head. Sasa has said the assault was launched after she threw her phone while attempting to stop Bun dragging her inebriated friend away against her will.

Speaking yesterday Sasa insisted she had little interest in news Bun had resigned as director of major property joint-ventures with Singaporean company TEHO International as a result of the scandal and demanded he be brought to justice.

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