Verdict in Agriculture Fraud Case Delayed

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday delayed a verdict in the $1-million fraud case brought by a Phnom Penh dentist against Cambodian-American businessman Richer San and three of his associates, saying further investigation is needed.

Mr. San denies accusations first made last July that he conned Eng Lykuong into investing in a company run by three co-defendants—Siv Sichan, a former U.S. envoy to the U.N.; William Nojay, a New York state assemblyman; and Thomas Willems, an American businessman—who are all being tried in absentia.

On Wednesday, Presiding Judge Svay Tonh said more evidence was needed.

“The [court] needs to transfer this criminal case to another investigating judge to do more investigating,” he said.

Specifically, documents need to be provided that show the business activities and financial reports of Akra Agricultural Partners, the firm at the center of the case.

Mr. San was not in court Wednesday, but his lawyer, Kheng Ly, welcomed the decision.

“Court procedure should not be rushed,” he said. Ms. Lykoung could not be reached.

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