Court Questions General Charged in Corruption Case

A military general charged in connection with a high-profile corruption scandal at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, which led to the removal of its top judge last month, on Tuesday denied the allegations against him after being questioned at the court.

Pech Prum Mony, a brigadier general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and a former member of ousted court director Ang Mealaktei’s security detail, refuted the charges of interference in public functions and unauthorized use of vehicles bearing police or military emblems.

Police escort Brigadier General Pech Prum Mony into a van in the parking garage under the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday after he was questioned over charges related to corruption at the court and the removal of its director last month. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Police escort Brigadier General Pech Prum Mony into a van in the parking garage under the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday after he was questioned over charges related to corruption at the court and the removal of its director last month. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“I am just a bodyguard,” he told reporters, shaking his head as police escorted him out of the courthouse. “I do not accept the charges. I don’t have any involvement and I don’t accept them.”

Brig. Gen. Prum Mony was arrested on February 19, just days after Mr. Mealaktei was removed from his position following a speech in which Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested that the court’s decision to grant bail to the parents of fugitive Defense Ministry official Thong Sarath may have been influenced by a $5-million bribe.

Major General Sarath was charged with coordinating the murder of businessman Ung Meng Chue in November and remains at large, while his mother and father —Keo Savy and Thong Chamroeun—were jailed on illegal weapons possessions charges following raids on the general’s Phnom Penh villas in early December.

They were released on bail on February 7. On February 15, the couple was rearrested as they attempted to flee to Vietnam in an ambulance.

Pheng Sideth, a lawyer for Brig. Gen. Prum Mony, said Tuesday that the questioning of his client by Investigating Judge Long Kesphirom was free of “tension.”

“There was not any tension in the questioning and he answered everything according to the facts,” he said.

“I believe that my client will be free from the charges,” Mr. Sideth added.

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