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Verdict delayed in Hun Sen cousin case

Verdict delayed in Hun Sen cousin case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday postponed announcing its verdict in a corruption case against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cousin, Dy Proem, and a high-ranking member of the ruling Cambodia People’s Party.

Judge Seng Neang said the verdict had been postponed because the court was busy.

He rejected assertions that political interference had played a role in delaying a verdict in the case, in which the two face charges related to alleged land-grabbing.

“There is no [ulterior] motive behind the delay in announcing the verdicts in the cases against Dy Proem and Seng Yean. Their verdicts were scheduled to be announced [yesterday], but due to the court’s business, they were postponed until November 28,” the judge told the Post, saying the postponement had nothing to do with the link between Dy Proem and the prime minister.

Seng Yean, former deputy general director of the inspection department at the Ministry of National Assembly, Senate Relations and Inspection, was accused of accepting a US$200,000 bribe from Dy Proem to provide fake documents saying she owned five hectares of land claimed by 68-year-old widow Huoth Sarom.

Huoth Sarom’s lawyer, Kao Ty, said the delay was a result of Dy Proem’s close link to Hun Sen. “The reason the court has postponed announcing the verdicts is because it is hesitating to decide on this case because it is linked to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family,” he told the Post. “Seng Yean is also an active member of Cambodian People’s Party in strengthening its base.”

The court has delayed the trials five times since 2009.

“I do not believe the court will find justice for my client, but I hope it will not consider Prime Minister Hun Sen’s sub-decree removing Seng Yean from his position as paper for packing rubbish, or consider the prime minister’s recommendations as just wind,” Kao Ty said.  

Dy Proem, Seng Yean and their lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.