The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied bail to a former Phnom Penh Municipal Court clerk who was convicted of breach of trust for pocketing $250,000, which was paid by a businessman to win a case in court.
Kruoch Borath, 40, was handed a four-and-a-half-year jail term in May after he was found guilty of taking the money, which had been deposited by businessman Suon Ly, but Mr. Borath has argued that he was only following the orders of Judge Ke Sakhorn, the former deputy municipal court director.
Supreme Court Judge Kim Sathavy said that the court rejected Mr. Borath’s appeal for bail, which was also turned down by the Appeal Court in October.
“We could not consider [releasing him] because the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted him already,” Ms. Sathavy said.
Mr. Borath’s lawyer, Puth Theavy, said the ruling was unjust because Judge Sakhorn, now a deputy director of the Takeo Provincial Court, had faced no punishment for his role in receiving the massive payment from the businessman.
“He [Judge Sakhorn] must be responsible for this because he is a judge and my client is just a clerk,” Mr. Theavy said.
Mr. Borath has given back $75,000 of Mr. Ly’s money that he admits he took but says that he gave the remaining $175,000 to Judge Sakhorn.
Mr. Borath has also said that he is willing to stump up an additional $50,000 of his own money in return for receiving bail.