Ex-Top Judge’s Bodyguard Denies Accusations

Pech Prum Mony, a one-star military general and former bodyguard for disgraced Phnom Penh Municipal Court director Ang Mealaktei, on Thursday denied accusations of abuse of power and interfering with judicial procedure while under questioning at the court, his lawyer said.

The accusations were leveled by the Anti-Corruption Unit and are related to the improper release from prison of the parents of Thong Sarath, a former Defense Ministry official who stands charged with orchestrating the November murder of tycoon Ung Meng Chue, according to the lawyer, Pheng Sideth.

Brigadier General Pech Prum Mony is escorted from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday. (Jens Welding Ollgaard/The Cambodia Daily)
Brigadier General Pech Prum Mony is escorted from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday. (Jens Welding Ollgaard/The Cambodia Daily)

Mr. Sideth said his client was questioned Thursday over the accusations by Ly Sophana, a deputy prosecutor at the municipal court.

“He was questioned over two charges: passive trading in influence and interfering in public functions. But the deputy prosecutor concentrated more on passive trading in influence under Article 595,” Mr. Sideth said, declining to go into detail. “These are new accusations.”

Brigadier General Prum Mony was a prominent member of Mr. Mealaktei’s security detail, and was arrested in February, just days after his boss was sacked as Phnom Penh’s top judge following a speech in which Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested that court officials had accepted a multimillion-dollar bribe to release the parents of Major General Sarath.

Mr. Mealaktei was jailed on embezzlement charges in Kandal province on Sunday.

Asked whether the new accusations were related to that case of Maj. Gen. Sarath’s parents, Mr. Sideth, the lawyer, said: “Yes, they could be.” Asked whether they were also related to Mr. Mealaktei, he said: “No.”

Outside the courthouse, Brig. Gen. Prum Mony denied the new accusations, as he had the charges he was jailed on, which are related to his alleged abuse of Mr. Mealaktei’s power and his unauthorized use of vehicles bearing military and police emblems.

“I do not accept the accusations because I do not know anything. It is someone else’s matter,” he said.

Approached by a reporter, Mr. Sophana, declined to comment.

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