The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday convicted Suth Dina, Cambodia’s disgraced former ambassador to South Korea, to five years in prison for abuse of power and unlawful exploitation committed during his time as ambassador.
Presiding Judge Kor Vandy read out the verdict during a morning session: “The court decides…to sentence Suth Dina to five years in prison and to fine him 10 million riel for abuse of power and unlawful exploitation,” an equivalent of about $2,500.
The crimes were committed by Mr. Dina during his tenure at the Cambodian Embassy in South Korea between 2014 and this year, Judge Vandy said. Mr. Dina has the right to appeal, he added.
Since he was arrested in April, Mr. Dina has been accused of taking kickbacks from migrant workers, pocketing fees paid for visas and failing to pay rent on the embassy in Seoul. The Anti-Corruption Unit publicly raised suspicions over his ballooning personal wealth, which it says increased by as much as $3 million during his three years in South Korea.
His trial last month focused on $116,995 in embassy revenue that was not transferred in time to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The case was substantiated by the written testimonies of four witnesses, all embassy officials, whom Mr. Dina accused of seeking revenge against him for cracking down on their own schemes of bribery.
He denied personally profiting from his position.
sovuthy@cambodiadaily.com
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