Fugitive property tycoon Sok Bun has said he will return to Cambodia to appear in court over his alleged brutal assault of a former TV star, though he insists he must complete medical treatment in Singapore first.
In a letter released by his lawyer late on Tuesday evening, Bun said he would “come back to be responsible, to find the truth and justice,” but said that depends on first receiving clearance from his doctor.
“I would like understanding from the public, and I call on the authorities to please give me a chance to cooperate,” he said, having pleaded to Prime Minister Hun Sen to guarantee his freedom in a letter released earlier that day.
Another letter publicised late on Tuesday, purportedly written by Dr Mahen Nadarajah of the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore, claimed Bun would not be able to travel “for a number of months” due to an unspecified, pre-existing medical condition.
The National Neuroscience Institute refused to confirm the veracity of the letter over the phone and did not respond to an email.
The phone number listed under Dr Nadarajah’s name in the letter appeared to be out of service yesterday and he failed to respond to an email.
Bun is thought to have fled to Singapore on July 8, a day after security camera footage allegedly showing him holding Ek Socheata down and repeatedly punching and kicking her in the head at a Phnom Penh restaurant began circulating on social media and was publicised on national television.
Bun’s lawyer, Yin Sophy, yesterday suggested the magnate would come back in the near future.
“He will return to Cambodia to challenge these allegations at court soon,” he said, before claiming he had not received a summons.
According to Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Hing Bunthorn, a summons was issued on July 8 stipulating that Bun must appear in court on July 21.
Bunthorn said Socheata, who is widely known by her TV persona Ms Sasa, had also been issued a summons to appear and present her case on July 27.
He also suggested the matter had to be settled within the court system, calling it a “penal case,” a day after Sasa told the Post she rejected a compensation offer of $100,000 made by Bun on Tuesday.
Speaking yesterday, Sasa’s lawyer Puth Theavy confirmed he had received the summons, though he said Sasa is due to be in Thailand for a medical check-up on July 27, having this week returned from treatment for injuries sustained during the attack.
Theavy said he will instead request that Sasa appear today or Friday.