Lawyer: Malaysia Deserves Answers on Heng Pov

Though former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov is currently in a Cambodian prison, his Malay­sian legal team is continuing in its efforts to hold to account those responsible for his deportation, a lawy­er said Sunday.

Heng Pov’s lawyer in Malaysia, N Sivananthan, reiterated that the legal and procedural irregularities in the Dec 21 hand-over of Heng Pov were so flagrant that Malay­sia’s public deserves answers.

“I know it doesn’t help Heng Pov,” N Sivananthan said by telephone from Kuala Lumpur. “But at the end of the day I am not prepared to have this happen and to have no one answer for it,” he said.

Allegations of wrongdoing and procedural irregularities followed soon after Heng Pov’s surprise deportation, which occurred des­pite preparations by Malaysia’s highest court to hear Heng Pov’s appeal.

N Sivananthan said he would press the case even if discharged by Heng Pov.

“I don’t know how far it’ll go but I’ll go on as far as I can,” he said.

A Malaysian Embassy spokes­man could not be reached Mon­day, though Malaysian and Cam­bodian officials have previously denied wrongdoing in the case.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak repeated his government’s stance Monday.

“We are the people who implement the laws which protect the people of [Cambodia and Malay­sia],” he said. “We were never doing any abnormal activities.”

N Sivananthan said he intends to move the Federal Court this week for leave to begin contempt of court proceedings against Malaysia’s Immigration Depart­ment Director-General Datuk Wahid Mohd Don, as well as the department’s director of enforcement Ishak Haji Mohamed.

Officials found to be in contempt of court will likely have to resign from their jobs in addition to possible sentences of jail time and/or fines, N Sivananthan added.

Karpal Singh, a member of Malaysia’s opposition Democratic Action Party, will also question Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Ba­dawi over the deportation when parliament next sits in March, he said.

“I also want people to see that this is how the Cambodian government operates,” N Sivananthan said.

“I want people to open their eyes. Here is an Asean member and this is how they operate in a neighboring country,” he added.


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