Former Phnom Penh police chief Heng Pov’s legal battle against the Malaysian government officials who he says allowed his illegal deportation to Cambodia will be heard in court this month, a Malaysian lawyer said July 5.
After adjourning the case in March, the Federal Court—Malaysia’s highest judicial body—has now scheduled the proceedings for July 18, Heng Pov’s lawyer N Sivananthan wrote in an e-mail.
An affidavit introduced in March by Heng Pov’s wife, Ngin Sotheavy, who has since received asylum in Finland, cites mobile telephone logs which appear to contradict sworn statements by Malaysian government officials that they were not in contact with each other prior to Heng Pov’s deportation, N Sivananthan said.
The case involves Malaysia’s Immigration Department Director-General Wahid Mohd Don, it’s enforcement chief Ishak Haji Mohamed, and Mohamed Hanafiah bin Zakaria, deputy head of prosecution in the Malaysian Attorney General’s Chambers. “The significance of the telephone conversation is that it shows a communication which was previously denied. The denial we say shows mala fide intent,” N Sivananthan added.
Heng Pov, who is currently serving 25 years in prison for murder and illegal confinement, ended his five-month flight from Cambodian justice when the Malaysian officials turned him over to Cambodian police in Malaysia less than two hours before the Federal Court was scheduled to hear his appeal against his return to Cambodia.
“All affidavits have been duly filed and generally appear to provide flimsy and ludicrous explanations [for Heng Pov’s deportation],” N Sivananthan wrote.
Both Cambodian and Malaysian officials have denied any wrongdoing in the case, despite allegations of bribery and misconduct. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh declined to comment Thursday.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said that as Cambodian officials had acted honorably in Heng Pov’s capture, no ruling from the Malaysian court could bring them dishonor.
“If the court charges the [Malaysian] officials, it will not affect Cambodia’s reputation,” he said.