Disgraced Court Director Imprisoned in Kandal

Disgraced former Phnom Penh Municipal Court director Ang Mealaktei was sent to the Kandal Provincial Prison on Sunday after he was charged with embezzlement for allegedly confiscating an SUV from a drug dealer and giving it to his son, a prison official said Monday.

Chap Sineang, director of the prison, said Mr. Mealaktei was transferred there Sunday afternoon after Investigating Judge Y Sovann charged him.

“Y Sovann already charged Mr. Ang Mealaktei on Monday afternoon and he is now under pretrial detention at the provincial prison,” he said.

Judge Sovann could not be reached for comment.

Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officials arrested Mr. Mealaktei on Friday after investigators determined they had collected sufficient evidence for the court to charge him for confiscating an Audi SUV in 2010 from now-convicted drug trafficker Thav Thavy.

Mr. Mealaktei was removed from his position at the municipal court in February, just hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested in a speech that court officials accepted a multimillion-dollar bribe to release the parents of Thong Sarath, a Defense Ministry official who stands accused of orchestrating the murder of tycoon Ung Meng Chue in November.

Om Yentieng, chairman of the ACU, did not respond to text messages Monday asking whether the ACU was still investigating Mr. Mealaktei over the bribery accusations, or any other alleged crimes.

Late last month, however, Mr. Yentieng—speaking to reporters after a ceremony at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh—said the ACU was seeking to expedite Mr. Mealaktei’s case by sending it to court one alleged crime at a time.

“We are seeking to cut the whole case into many pieces and [we will submit] whichever one case we are able to send to court first, because we cannot wait for the whole case to finish at the same time,” he said.

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