KUCHING, Feb 13 ― Larry Sng led family members of detained Sarawakians to Cambodia this morning in an effort to secure their release.
The Julau MP and the group flew to Kuala Lumpur before departing for Siem Reap as part of the journey to Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison, Poipet City.
Speaking to reporters at the Kuching International Airport, Sng said he would speak to officials from the Malaysian Embassy and Cambodian authorities for permission to see the 47 Malaysian detainees including 44 Sarawakians.
“We also want to look at the timeline of detainees trial or perhaps secure their immediate release,” he said.
Separately, a spokesman for Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday said a judge was expected to conduct one-on-one interviews with 47 Malaysians accused of running an illegal gambling den and committing fraud in Poipet city.
Spokesman Roeun Lina said an investigating judge is preparing to question the detainees, who are currently jailed at the provincial prison.
“The judge is preparing this case and will detail the results of the investigation,” Lina said, quoted by the Khmer Times. “We can’t tell you more because the case is under investigation.”
“We need to question them one-by-one, through a translator,” he added. “They were charged over their involvement in running an illegal online gambling operation.”
Lina said the court has yet to set a trial date.
“Whether they will be released or not, I cannot say,” he said. “Right now we have no official order to release them.”
The Malaysian nationals, aged 19 to 44, have been detained since their arrests after a raid on their rented home in the city in December.
Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin yesterday said an official letter from the embassy, requesting government intervention in the matter, was forwarded to the court for consideration.
“We cannot interfere in the court’s internal affairs, but we will send the embassy’s letter to the court to check based on existing laws and procedures,” Malin said.
According to the indictment, the accused were together with eight Chinese nationals when they were detained in two separate raids in Samaki Meanchey and Prey Chhork villages.
The eight Chinese nationals, however, were later released.