Fugitive real estate tycoon Sok Bun flew from Singapore to Paris on Tuesday and is now being sought for arrest there by Interpol, according to the international police agency’s Cambodia bureau.
An Interpol “red notice” has now been issued for Mr. Bun, who was caught on camera earlier this month savagely beating female television personality Ek Socheata, meaning that all 190 Interpol member states have received notification that he is wanted on charges of intentional violence with aggravated circumstances.
“The Interpol office in Singapore has reported to Cambodian Interpol that Sok Bun took an Air France flight to Paris on [July] 14th,” said Lim Chheangleng, assistant head of the Cambodian Interpol bureau. “Now we are working on the issue with the French Interpol office.”
Through his lawyer, Yin Sophy, Mr. Bun on Tuesday released two statements outlining a number of steps that he had taken toward making reparations for the late night assault, including relinquishing his royally-bestowed title of oknha and offering $100,000 to Ms. Socheata.
Ms. Socheata, better known as Sasa, has rejected any offer to settle out of court.
In the statements, Mr. Bun also asked that he be allowed time to receive treatment for “serious stress,” while an undated and unverified letter signed by doctor Mahen Nadarajah at Singapore’s National Neuroscience Institute was also circulated online saying that Mr. Bun was “unable to travel for a number of months” due to the “exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.”
The fugitive also said that he would not return to Cambodia until a fair trial and his personal safety were guaranteed.
Ms. Socheata was questioned by Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Hing Bunthan on Friday.
The entertainer said she explained the lead-up to the assault, in which she was dragged around a room by her hair, kicked, punched, stomped on and stripped almost naked. She also had a pistol put to her head by Mr. Bun’s bodyguard, who has not been identified.
After the questioning, Ms. Socheata expressed doubt that her attacker would return to face justice, as he has said he would.
“I hope that he will do what he promised, but I have heard that he will appear in court since three days after it happened,” she said.
While Ms. Socheata filed an attempted murder complaint on July 2—the day of the attack—the court did not issue a summons for Mr. Bun until July 8, the day after the security footage emerged.
Major General Sok Khemarin, the Interior Ministry official leading the investigation, has said that Mr. Bun fled to Singapore on July 7.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said in a speech Tuesday that Mr. Bun had evaded arrest with assistance from police. Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday that any official, no matter how powerful, would be “handcuffed” if that was the case.
Interior Ministry and court officials could not be reached for comment Friday.