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Tycoon appeals weapons charges

Thong Chamroeun, father of convicted tycoon Thong Sarath, attends his son's appeal in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Thong Chamroeun, father of convicted tycoon Thong Sarath, attends his son's appeal in Phnom Penh yesterday. Hong Menea

Tycoon appeals weapons charges

Convicted tycoon Thong Sarath yesterday began an appeal of his June conviction for possessing and using illegal weapons.

He was arrested in April after allegedly masterminding the assassination of another construction magnate, Ung Meng Cheu, in November last year.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in June on the weapons charge, but no date has been set for the murder trial.

Judge Tith Sothy Boraleak yesterday said Sarath’s weapons licences had expired prior to police discovering them during a manhunt for the then-fugitive. “He continues to claim the weapons are legal. But he should have returned them to the Ministry of Defence when he realised the documents had expired,” Sothy Boraleak said.

“The suspect is guilty.”

Thorng Chamroeun, Sarath’s father, said as his son held a position in the ministry, the weapons were legal.

Sarath told the court he did not handle the weapons himself and they were only used by his bodyguards, several of whom were charged in connection to Meng Cheu’s murder. A verdict is due December 24.

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