Sarath’s 5th bodyguard jailed

Authorities and members of the public look at numbered bullet shells at the scene of the fatal shooting
Authorities and members of the public look at numbered bullet shells at the scene of the fatal shooting last year in Phnom Penh in which businessman Ung Meng Cheu was gunned down. Hong Menea

Sarath’s 5th bodyguard jailed

Another bodyguard of fugitive tycoon Thong Sarath has been arrested and charged as an accomplice for his alleged involvement in the public murder of tycoon Ung Meng Cheu, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court official said yesterday.

Um Sokha, a clerk at the court, said that Chhun Chetra, 35, was arrested by municipal penal police on Wednesday afternoon, and has now been placed in detention.

“He was charged by the municipal court’s prosecutor with conspiracy [as an accomplice] to premeditated murder under article 29 of the Penal Code,” Sokha said yesterday.

“He now has been sent to Prey Sar prison to await further investigation,” he added.

Second Lieutenant Ka Ham, a penal police officer at the Serious Crimes Unit in Phnom Penh, said Chetra was arrested when he responded to a summons for questioning issued by investigating judge Ly Sokleng.

“He was arrested at the municipal court after he came for questioning in accordance with the court’s summons on Wednesday,” he said. “He was arrested because he was involved [by] offering his own motorbike to the other two accused men, Seang Veasna and Ly Sao, who rode it to kill Oknha Ung Menh Cheu last year,” he added.

Police also confiscated the motorbike allegedly used in the November shooting.

Judge Sokleng and other municipal court officials could not be reached for comment.

Chetra is the fifth bodyguard of Sarath’s to be arrested in connection with the murder. He joins Veasna, 44, the alleged gunman; Sao, 43, the alleged getaway driver; and Meas Sambath, 27, and Kouy Chanthol, 29, both of whom allegedly tailed Meng Cheu’s car before the shooting.

They were charged with premeditated murder and participating in a conspiracy to commit premeditated murder.

Sarath has also been charged with initiating premeditated murder for allegedly ordering the hit on Meng Cheu, but has been on the run since becoming a suspect.

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