The son of a Prey Veng timber broker was taken into custody on Sunday after claiming last week that his business was backed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng when one of his vehicles carrying timber was stopped by authorities.
Vy Channa, 22, son of timber trader Vy Dy, was sent to court on Sunday facing preliminary charges of “irregular use of a title” for claiming that senior CPP officials were linked to his father’s business. Sreng Chea, Prey Veng provincial police chief, said Channa was arrested after he made the claim and sent to court, but did not say whether the court had charged the suspect.
“I received the information, so I called him for interrogation. He admitted to it and I asked for permission from the prosecutor to send him to the court,” he said, declining to comment further, including on whether the timber in question was legal.
Prey Veng Provincial Court spokesman Nhek Vanny said Channa was interrogated by Investigating Judge Klouk Piseth, but referred further questions to the judge, who could not be reached.
The preliminary charge is based on Article 620 of the Criminal Code, and carries a prison sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of about $500.
Sar Sokha, who is Sar Kheng’s son and was also namedropped by Channa, released a statement distancing himself from the suspect’s claims and calling on the authorities to take relevant action.
Channa also issued an apology on Sunday and asked the premier, Sokha and Prey Veng Governor Chea Somethy to pardon his infraction, blaming it on his “aggressive” attitude.
“I am young and was a bit aggressive at the time by using some words affecting the name of the country’s leader,” his apology read.