Real Estate Tycoon Bonna Released on Bail

Real estate mogul Sung Bonna, who was jailed earlier this month after allegedly issuing a bad check to fellow tycoon Keo Hun, was released on bail on Thursday, according to court officials.

“He was released from the prison at about 11 a.m., but I don’t know why,” said Yoeun Thanrath, chief of administration at Phnom Penh’s minimum-security PJ Prison.

Ly Sophanna, a spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, refused to explain the decision to free Mr. Bonna on bail, saying only that he would be “monitored by the court.”

“I cannot tell you about this because it’s a secret part of the judge’s investigation,” he said. “It would be illegal.”

Investigating Judge Long Kesphirum declined to comment. Neither Mr. Bonna nor his lawyer could be reached.

Mr. Bonna, chairman of the high-profile Bon­na Realty Group, was charged and provisionally detained on June 10 over allegations that he gave Mr. Hun and his wife a check for $400,000 without having the necessary funds in his ­account.

Under questioning at the court last week, Mr. Bonna told judge Kesphirum that he wrote the check in 2014 to repay a debt of equal value to the couple and gave it to them under the condition that it could only be cashed once he had sufficient funds in his ac­count, according to his lawyer, Cheav Tola.

A written contract stated that a third-party guarantor would repay the funds if Mr. Bonna could not do so himself by March of this year, Mr. Tola said, adding that after Mr. Hun attempted to cash the check in March and it bounced, he filed a complaint against Mr. Bonna.

“My client had paid $70,000 of the $400,000, and he planned to continue to pay, but he might have been a little late, so Mr. Keo Hun filed a complaint against him,” the lawyer said at the time.

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