Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Top court denies bail for ex-deputy Battambang governor in graft case

Top court denies bail for ex-deputy Battambang governor in graft case

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Battambang provincial deputy governor Sou Arafat. Facebook

Top court denies bail for ex-deputy Battambang governor in graft case

The Supreme Court on January 20 denied bail to former Battambang provincial deputy governor Sou Arafat who remains jailed over allegations of corruption while awaiting trial on three charges stemming from this case.

Arafat is accused of attempting to help a tycoon, who holds the honorific oknha, grab more than 5,000ha in Kors Kralor district.

Both Arafat and his lawyer Chhun Marosa were absent from the January 20 proceedings.

“Having deliberated on the case, the Supreme Court rules that the Appeal Court’s verdict on September 3, 2020, refusing bail to the individual in custody was correct and so the verdict is upheld,” the presiding judge said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has yet to finish hearing Arafat’s case related to the land dispute.

According to the police report, the case centred around a land dispute between oknha Sorng Thorn and 200 families in Kors Kralor district in 2015.

At the time, the Anti-Corruption Unit investigated the dispute at the behest of Prime Minister Hun Sen after the families whom Thorn was attempting to displace appealed to the prime minister for help. This led to the arrest of Thorn and Arafat, who were then indicted on three charges.

After questioning by deputy prosecutor Soeun Moniroth, charges were brought against both of them for unlawful exploitation, destruction of property and bribery under articles 601, 605 and 595 of the Criminal Code.

Judge Im Vannak issued a detention warrant for both of them on July 7, 2020.

If found guilty under Article 595 on charges of bribing a public official or citizen vested with public office, Thorn and Arafat face between seven and 15 years imprisonment.

If found guilty under articles 601 or 605 on charges of destruction of property or unlawful exploitation, they face up to 10 years imprisonment for each of those crimes.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At