Tycoon Vows to Return in Post

Phnom Penh Post 23-Dec-2014

A screenshot pictures tycoon Thong Sarath pleading to Prime Minister Hun Sen to reinvestigate the murder case against him.

Fugitive businessman Thong Sarath has posted another video on a social network site, this time promising to return to Cambodia if the prime minister orders the court to reinvestigate the murder case against him.

Sarath was charged in absentia over the murder of fellow tycoon Ung Meng Cheu in November. A prominent businessman who carries the royally bestowed “okhna” title, Sarath was accused of being the mastermind in the shooting. Four of his bodyguards have been arrested and charged over the murder, while his parents have been jailed on a separate charge.

In Sarath’s latest video – which followed a similar one posted on Friday – the tycoon said that the charges against him and his bodyguards are “very wrong”.

“I keep on saying the same thing: this is unreasonable. The killer looked different from my bodyguard, Seang Veasna,” he explained.

“I beg Prime Minister Hun Sen, his wife . . . as well as the court to review the allegations and order a new investigation into the case.

“If they agree to re-open the case, I would go back to be questioned.”

Sarath’s new lawyer, Kea Eav, said he will ask the investigating judge to review evidence.

“I think there is still doubt about these allegations, such as . . . the bodyguards’ supposed confession,” he said.

In Bora, director of the Ministry of Interior’s penal department, yesterday said police are still searching for Sarath.

Meng Cheu, chairman of the Shimmex Group, was shot dead in front of a fruit shop in the capital on November 22. Security footage showed a gunman fire a number of shots before fleeing.

Police have suggested that Meng Cheu and Sarath, the owner of the Borey 999 construction projects, may have been involved in a business dispute.

But Tang Kim Chheng, Meng Cheu’s wife, said in an interview that she had “never known Thong Sarath”.

“I can’t give any more comment,” she said.