Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
ONE of five of alleged accomplices with close ties to Senate President Chea Sim accused of being complicit in a scam was formally charged on Wednesday evening with fraud and producing fake public documents.
National Military Police chief Kheng Tito said yesterday Chea Sim’s protocol chief Kunthea Borey was charged based on information provided by the Senate president’s former Bodyguard Unit chief, Chhoeun Chanthan, who was arrested in August in connection with the same case.
“She was then sent by police to detention at Prey Sor Prison awaiting further investigations and trial in the future,” he said yesterday.
Police lieutenant general Chan Kosal, former cabinet member Khieu Bora, and lieutenant general Ponlork Ho, who were arrested on Friday and Sunday last week, had all been charged in connection with the scam based on information from Chhoeun Chanthan.
Kheng Tito declined to comment on the specific scam that the charges had been made in connection to but Ponlork Ho and Cha Kosal are both prominently featured on the blog of Malaysian businessman Armin Baniaz Pahamin in connection with an unspecified business deal.
Armin Baniaz Pahamin has not responded to inquiries from the Post.
Kouy Thunna, Kunthea Borey’s defense lawyer, denied the allegations against his client and vouched for her good character.
He added that Kunthea Borey was only the victim of the police’s arrests because she had not committed any wrong things against the laws.
“She is very sincere and honest. Based on her sincerity and honesty, I can assume that she is also a victim in this case,” he said.
Kunthea Borey’s fall from grace had taken her from a respected position in society to a prison cell with 40 other inmates, he added, and requested she be released on bail based on her proven good character.
Kouy Thunna also declined to provide specific details of the scam she was implicated in.
She was very sincere and honest. Based on her sincerity and honesty, I could assume that she is also a victim of this case. Therefore, I would like to ask the prosecutor to drop charges against her and release her,” he told the Phnom Penh Post.