Anti-Graft ‘Experts’ Deemed Maps To Be Fake

The marathon trial of a British businessman and three colleagues charged with fraud and forgery pressed on on Tuesday, with a senior anti-corruption official offering a vague explanation as to how authorities had determined that the maps and land documents at the center of the case were fake.

Kheang Seng, vice chairman of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), read out a two-page summary stating that experts had scoured the emails and personal computers of Gregg Fryett, the chairman of International Green Energy, and his Cambodian-American colleague Um Sam Ang.

British businessman Gregg Fryett leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in September. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
British businessman Gregg Fryett leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in September. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We used experts who understand IT to find that the suspects forged documents,” he said.

Mr. Seng told deputy prosecutor Ly Sophana that it was difficult to explain the technical methods used to make the determination, and declined to make any attempt to do so. He refused to speak with reporters after the hearing.

Mr. Fryett, who was arrested in 2013 for alleged fraud involving his plans to start a jatropha biofuel plantation in Banteay Meanchey province, has denied any knowledge of forged documents or illegal land dealings.

The court has repeatedly rejected his request to summon the Cambodian power brokers involved in the transactions, including Mao Malay, who owned the land on which the plantation was meant to take shape. Ms. Malay is the wife of former military Commander-in-Chief Ke Kim Yan.

The middleman in the deal was military General Hanh Chamrong. Mr. Fryett on Tuesday asked why the general was not being given the same level of scrutiny, citing a statement made by disgraced judge Ang Mealaktei, who launched the investigation that led to the trial.

“Mr. Ang Mealaktei issued a statement saying specifically that Hanh Chamrong forged the documents,” he said. “Where is Mao Malay? Because the investigation by Ang Mealaktei said that Hanh Chamrong worked for Malay.”

The ACU “can’t only read two papers and say that I am bad,” he added.

The trial continues December 13.

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