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Suspect Nelhams back in court for questioning

Toby James Nelhams photographed in the waiting area of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this week. Lok samret
Toby James Nelhams photographed in the waiting area of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this week. Lok samret

Suspect Nelhams back in court for questioning

Toby James Nelhams, the man suspected to be behind the murder of a British national in Pattaya, Thailand, last month was back at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further questioning yesterday that officials would only say involved “immigration violations”.

Thai authorities believe Nelhams ordered South African Abel Caldeira Bonita and fellow Briton Miles Dicken Turner to murder Tony Kenway over a business dispute, according to previous reports in the Bangkok Post.

Kenway was killed with a single gunshot to the head on January 24. Bonita and Turner are still at large, but reportedly hired a driver to take them to the Cambodian border.

On Wednesday, Cambodian officials confirmed for the first time that Nelhams was in custody, but yesterday refused to address his alleged crimes in Thailand.

“He was arrested for staying in Cambodia without a passport,” said Uk Hai Seila, investigation chief at the Immigration Department.

Ly Sophana, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said prosecutor Sieng Sok is “looking into the case” but has not yet decided whether to charge Nelhams with immigration violations.

Sophana once again refused to say whether Nelhams would be extradited in accordance with the treaty in place between Cambodia and Thailand.

Lawyer Suon Virakpanha, meanwhile, confirmed to The Post that he is representing Nelhams. “He has not been charged yet. According to the police report, he was arrested for illegally entering Cambodia without a passport . . . I just became the lawyer to defend this case; I have not gotten the case file yet,” he said.

Virakpanha also claimed he heard Nelhams was arrested on February 5, seemingly contradicting other officials who said the Briton was arrested only a few days ago.

“We are in contact with the local authorities following the arrest of a British man in Cambodia,” a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said in response to inquiries about Nelhams. The spokesman declined to comment on details of the case.

Thai Embassy officials declined to comment entirely.

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