The daughter and son-in-law of tycoon Heng Sier — who is accused of attempted rape by a university student — were arrested after recruiting lookalikes to make a video reenactment of the businessman’s encounter with her, and also shared pornographic images allegedly of the student.
Sier’s son-in-law, Khorn Chhun Dara, 32, released an apology letter on Monday, saying he recruited two lookalikes “to make a video clip to mimic the true events that happened in the car in order to find out more clearly.”
He added that he also shared pornographic images he had received from an unnamed person to seven other people on WhatsApp and Telegram, though he said he didn’t know the source of the image.
“I’m really sorry to share this inappropriate picture,” he said in the letter. “If this image can create confusion, affect the honor and dignity of Miss Mean Pich Rita, I would like to apologize for sharing this inappropriate image and promise not to let this happen again.”
Chhun Dara is an owner of the local branches of Taiwan-based Koi Thé bubble tea company and American pest control company Orkin, as well as the local coffee brand Tube Cafe. His wife, Taing Kimheang, is a shareholder in her father’s company, Cambopura Glass, as well as Mongkol Food & Beverages and Chaktomuk Pest Services.
Kimheang and Chhun Dara were arrested on Saturday for questioning but were not charged, Phnom Penh police spokesperson San Sokseyha said on Monday.
“We have brought them in for questioning and there have been no charges,” he said. “We are questioning them related to the previous days’ issues, whether and how that happened so that we get more understanding about the issues.”
Sokseyha was referring to a conflict between Sier and the presenter and university student Mean Pich Rita that unfurled on social media last week. Pich Rita was arrested last week and detained for more than five days over accusations from Sier that she stole his phone and stabbed him with a knife. While detained, she filed a complaint against Sier, claiming he had sexually assaulted her in his car on May 4 while he had a gun.
Sokseyha did not provide any more details, saying the case was still under investigation.
In a letter released Monday, the Phnom Penh prosecutor’s office said that it had found no evidence that Chhun Dara and Kimheang had produced pornography allegedly depicting Sier and Pich Rita.
Instead, the prosecutory’s office said it found evidence that Chhun Dara recruited the two people who looked like Sier and Pich Rita to reenact the incident.
It said the pair would be released, without specifying whether the case is dropped.
Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered his team of lawyers to find justice for Pich Rita, according to a Fresh News post on Saturday.
Government lawyer Ky Tech declined to comment.
Updated at 6:02 p.m. with announcement of Chhun Dara and Kimheang’s release.