Court Questions TV Personality’s Father Over Assault by Sok Bun

The father of Ek Socheata, the entertainer better known as Sasa who was viciously assaulted by real-estate magnate Sok Bun on July 2, was on Wednesday questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over the case.

Mr. Bun was arrested upon returning to Cambodia after leaving the country on July 7, according to the Interior Ministry, the day security camera footage of the beating began circulating on the Internet. He stands charged with intentional violence and faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.

Ms. Socheata’s father, Uth Thy, who holds the royally bestowed title of “oknha”—as Mr. Bun did prior to relinquishing it while abroad—was not present during the attack and on Wednesday refused to say what the court asked him about.

“I will not be quietly settling by taking bribes to close this case. I cannot do this; it would impact the reputation of the leaders—the whole government made an effort to find the perpetrator so that he could be prosecuted,” Mr. Thy told reporters outside the courthouse.

“I want bad oknhas who have committed acts like this to know that Cambodia has laws.”

Mr. Bun has publicly offered Ms. Socheata $100,000 to settle the case. Mr. Thy reiterated that Mr. Bun had tried to buy his way out of the case.

“Their lawyer issued a check to me—they wanted to end the case, but I said that I did not need this money,” Mr. Thy said.

Mr. Thy said that “many oknhas” had contacted him on behalf of Mr. Bun, as had “three- and four-star [generals] asking me to end the case, and asking me to remove the video clip.”

According to Ms. Socheata’s lawyer, Puth Theavy, Mr. Bun’s bodyguard—who is seen in the security camera footage putting a handgun to the victim’s head, and who remains at large—has now been charged with attempted murder.

The investigating judge in the case, Leang Samnath, could not be reached for comment.

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