As real estate mogul Sok Bun kicked, stomped on and dragged popular television presenter Ek Socheata across the floor of a Phnom Penh restaurant in July, the businessman’s personal bodyguard kept his pistol drawn, occasionally pointing it at the entertainer.
Mr. Bun was found guilty of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances on Monday, but saw his three-year prison sentence suspended to just 10 months.
His bodyguard, however, remains at large, and the police official who was heading the investigation said authorities were not actively searching for him.
Ms. Socheata, known to her fans as Sasa, filed an attempted murder complaint against both Mr. Bun and his bodyguard after the assault on July 2, which was captured by a security camera at the restaurant.
In the video—which sparked a public outcry after being posted online by Ms. Socheata herself—the bodyguard can be seen preventing a waiter from attempting to intervene, also putting his pistol to the entertainer’s head after Mr. Bun throws her to the ground.
According to Ms. Socheata, the bodyguard even attempted to shoot her, only to have his gun malfunction.
While both men fled after the video went viral online, Mr. Bun returned to face prosecution at the public urging of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
During Mr. Bun’s trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last month, the bodyguard received only passing mention in a written statement from Mr. Bun, who identified the man as “Vy.”
Put Theavy, Ms. Socheata’s lawyer, said on Tuesday the bodyguard was also charged by the court—with the more serious crime of attempted murder—and that he had no idea why the suspect had not been tried alongside Mr. Bun.
“The bodyguard has to be punished also…but the judge did not sentence him and we don’t know why,” Mr. Theavy said, adding that he did not plan to take further action because his client wished to put the case behind her.
Sok Khemerin, director of the Interior Ministry’s penal police department, who led the initial search for Mr. Bun, said in July that investigators were also working to locate the bodyguard.
Contacted on Tuesday, Major General Khemerin equivocated.
“If he has committed offenses, then we are still looking to arrest him and will not give him space to escape…. But this case is out of the police’s hands,” he said, refusing to elaborate.
Investigating Judge Leang Samnath and Presiding Judge Sor Linna, who oversaw the case, could not be reached.