Sok Khemarin, the police official leading the investigation into Sok Bun, said Wednesday that he was waiting on an arrest warrant so that he could call on the assistance of Interpol and deflected suggestions of police collusion with the disgraced real-estate magnate, who remains at large.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng and ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said police had helped Mr. Bun evade arrest after security camera footage emerged on July 7 that showed him viciously assaulting television personality Ek Socheata at a restaurant in Phnom Penh five days earlier.
Confronted with the accusation Wednesday, Major General Khemarin, director of the Interior Ministry’s penal police department, said: “I have no idea and I don’t know about this problem.”
On July 8, a day after the security footage began circulating—and
six days after Ms. Socheata filed an attempted murder complaint —Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Hing Bunthorn issued a summons for Mr. Bun, ordering him to report for questioning on July 21.
Maj. Gen. Khemarin says he has been vigorously attempting to track down Mr. Bun, despite also saying that the tycoon had fled to Singapore on July 7. Yesterday, he said an arrest warrant would allow the search to be widened with the assistance of Interpol.
“The summons can be used in the country, but if the court issues an arrest warrant, we can send it to Interpol along the border,” he said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Bun released a statement relinquishing his royally bestowed title of “oknha” and stepping down as president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association and his TEHO-SBG Development Co.
He also asked that the judicial system allow him time to receive treatment for “serious stress.”
In a second statement on Tuesday evening, Mr. Bun said he would return to Cambodia to “find truth and justice for all involved parties based on the court’s procedure when my duties and health checks are complete and my personal security is guaranteed by law.”