In the grainy black-and-white video the tycoon is seen dragging the actress off a leather couch at a Phnom Penh restaurant. Now the man is pleading for mercy in a case that has outraged Cambodia.

She told the Associated Press news agency: “He pulled my hair and smashed my head against the floor”. He was punching and kicking me.

CCTV footage of the assault on Ek Socheata, better known by her stage name SaSa, in a restaurant has fuelled public outrage in a country where the rich are often seen to be beyond the reach of a corrupt judicial system. Photographs she provided, which ran in Cambodian newspapers, show her with bruises over her body, a black eye and bloodied fingers and knees.

After Sok Bun’s arrest on Saturday morning SaSa told AFP she was happy the tycoon was now in the hands of the law. “I could not control myself”.

The official recognition of the party came after King Norodom Sihamoni, at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen, last week granted a pardon to Ratha, who was convicted and sentenced in absentia in January to seven years in prison by a Cambodian court for incitement, plotting an attack and obstructing elections in 2013.

The Japanese woman, who the Phnom Penh Post said has now fled the country, has filed a separate police complaint accusing Sok Bun of rape in an earlier incident. In a second statement, he said he was “absent from Cambodia” for medical treatment and will return when “my security is guaranteed”.

“”(We) sent him to the court. “We can not accept that”.

It is thought his bodyguard also waded into the scrap at a Japanese restaurant in Phnom Penh. Sasa obtained the video and posted it on her Facebook page, after which it went viral.

Sasa, 28, has said she was protecting a friend from the drunken advances of Sok Bun, when he flew into a violent rage.

Her lawyer, Put Theavy, said Sasa had testified in an investigation that has charged Sok Bun for intentional violence and charged his bodyguard, who held Sasa at gunpoint as she was repeatedly punched and kicked, for attempted murder. “Always make me feel scare!” “I would like inform everyone, including journalists, that neither my family nor I have ever said anything about compensation, not even millions”, she said.