Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youngest son, Hun Many, on Monday donated to charity $10,000 in court-ordered compensation he won in a dispute with a shipping company that attempted to use his name to fast-track customs clearance at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, his lawyer said.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday found Reach Sothon, president of RSL Global Logistics, guilty of fraud after he told port authorities in August that his goods belonged to Mr. Many and so needed to be cleared more quickly.
According to Mr. Many’s lawyer, Ly Chantola, the court handed Mr. Sothon a suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay the prime minister’s son $10,000 in compensation after he admitted to the crime.
“Mr. Sothon confessed to the court,” Mr. Chanthola said. “According to the law, Mr. Sothon stood accused of fraud, but when he was questioned he confessed and then promised it would not happen again.
“The court suspended the sentence because it is his first time [being accused of fraud], and he has to apologize to Mr. Hun Many, and he has promised that it will not happen again, and he has agreed to pay $10,000 in compensation.”
Mr. Sothon had told the municipal court during earlier hearings that he invoked Mr. Many’s name because he believed that he was delivering a donated ambulance to Mr. Many’s youth group, the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia.
Mr. Chanthola said Mr. Many received the compensation and donated it to the Taramana foundation, a Phnom Penh-based charity that supports schoolchildren, to show that he had not pursued the case for the money.
“Hun Many thought that this kind of thing affects his name and his honor, so he donated to help the NGO and kids from the organization,” he said.
Contacted Monday, Mr. Sothon claimed not to know about the compensation order.
“I do not know anything about the court’s decision. I will check it and then I will know,” Mr. Sothon said.
Municipal court deputy prosecutor Top Chhun Long, who led the prosecution of the case, declined to comment. The NGO could not be reached.
© 2014 – 2015, All rights reserved.