In the sixth trial since a warrant for his arrest was issued in 2006, former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov will face charges at the municipal court Nov 24 for an alleged conspiracy to murder national military police commander Sao Sokha, Judge Iv Kimsry said Tuesday.
A former fugitive from justice who was arrested in Malaysia in 2006 following a six-month quest for political asylum, Heng Pov is now serving 58 years in prison for convictions including intentional killing, illegal detention and possession of counterfeit currency.
Iv Kimsry said Tuesday he could not recall the details of the case.
“I have not read the case file. Wait until the trial,” he said.
Defense attorney Kao Soupha on Tuesday said that authorities had uncovered no hard evidence. He also said the investigation had been conducted by Heng Pov’s rivals, including Interior Ministry penal police chief Mok Chito, and that the court could not be impartial as Heng Pov was convicted in absentia in 2006 of the killing of Municipal Judge Sok Sethamony.
“There could be bias. The court had disputes. There were disputes between [Chief Prosecutor] Ouk Savuth and Heng Pov,” he said.
Kao Soupha said that Sunday’s death of National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy, whom Heng Pov identified as a personal enemy, would likely affect Heng Pov’s coming trial, perhaps leaving judges “a little relieved.”
“The courts might find some justice,” he said, adding that the helicopter crash also may have prevented Heng Pov from one day receiving Hok Lundy’s forgiveness.
“But I still have the stance to believe that Heng Pov still has a chance to be freed,” he said.
Mok Chito said he was too busy to comment Tuesday while Iv Kimsry declined to respond to Kao Soupha’s allegations.
Sao Sokha said Tuesday he would not testify as he would be on an unspecified “mission,” and a surrogate would attend the trial.
“In reality, justice has already been more than enough for me,” he said. “The crimes he committed were many. I am already satisfied.”