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Cambodian tycoon returns from S'pore, pleads guilty

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Assault on TV actress in Phnom Penh restaurant

Cambodia yesterday detained and charged a wanted property tycoon over the assault of a popular TV actress.

Wealthy businessman Sok Bun, who had fled to Singapore in an apparent attempt to evade authorities, was arrested on his return at Phnom Penh airport before being charged in court, officials said.

CCTV footage of the assault on Ek Socheata (pictured), better known by her stage name SaSa, in a restaurant has fuelled public outrage.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has "officially charged Sok Bun with intentional violence", Mr Sok Khemarin, chief of the interior ministry's penal police department, said.

He added that the 37-year-old property magnate had pleaded guilty and was now being detained in Prey Sar prison, on the outskirts of the capital, awaiting trial. He faces up to five years in jail if convicted.


On Thursday, Prime Minister Hun Sen joined calls for the businessman to face justice, asking the tycoon to hand himself in to police.

The attack on 28-year-old SaSa by the businessman and his armed bodyguard took place in the early hours of July 2 in a Japanese restaurant in the capital.

She obtained CCTV footage of the incident and posted it on Facebook four days later, alongside images of her injuries.

The grainy footage showed two men beating a woman in a black dress, dragging her from a leather sofa and repeatedly kicking her in the head as she desperately tried to get up.

His bodyguard was seen brandishing a handgun throughout the attack.

In an interview with AFP on Thursday, SaSa said the argument began when he made drunken and unwanted advances towards a Japanese friend.

Said SaSa yesterday: "Let the judges and the court do their work, all I want is justice."

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