Lawyer, police officer accused of corruption

Pav Suy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The police officer accused of corruption. DAP News

A complaint against a lawyer and a police officer was filed to the Anti-Corruption Unit yesterday after the two were accused of facilitating the release of a microfinance officer arrested in April.

Om Yentieng, chief of the ACU, yesterday confirmed that he received the complaint, noting that he would discuss it with his unit today before making a decision on what to do next.

“I received the letter today,” he said. “According to our working norms, tomorrow we will table it at our morning meeting.”

The complaint was filed against lawyer Dul Sokha and Lieutenant Colonel Sok Rith after police arrested Toun Sovanna, chief executive officer for Proashith Credit, on April 20 and sent him to Phnom Penh Municipal Court, where he was then freed the same day.

The complainants were identified as Taing Bopha, 48, and Taing Hok Jy, 52, who claim to have a relative working as a clerk at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

The complaint says that lawyer Leng Vathanak asked for help from lawyer Soun Bunthoeun on the case, who then later contacted Mr Sokha, a close associate of Mr Rith, a municipal police officer providing security at the court.

Mr Sokha was accused of contacting Mr Rith to intervene in the case and gain the suspect’s freedom.

The complaint says a bribe of $8,000 was given to Mr Rith, who contacted a deputy prosecutor in charge of the case asking for the release of Mr Sovanna.

According to a local media, Mr Sovanna was arrested after a 61-year-old woman filed a complaint accusing him of intimidating her son, who stood as a witness to a $123,000 loan given to three men who failed to repay it.

Mr Sokha declined to comment yesterday, saying he had not yet read the complaint.

“I have to read it first before I can make a comment,” he said.

Lt Col Rith confirmed that he had a relationship with the people mentioned in the complaint, and said that he had no idea whom the complainants were and why they accused him of interfering in the court case.

“I don’t know the people who complained against me. I know nothing about the case,” he said. “I work at the court and Dul Sokha approached me, asking to meet a court official and I just let him [Mr Sokha] go. This is a set up and it is not true at all.”

Mr Bunthoeun denied all the accounts in the complaint, noting he would investigate the source of the letter.

“We, lawyers, defend our clients according to the law and now we are looking for the two people because they are not involved in the case at all and they claimed to be the uncle and aunt of a court clerk,” he said. “What they said in the letter is completely wrong.”

“It is up to the court to decide whether there is no evidence,” he added. “What I have done is according to my profession and helping the client without the involvement of money. I did call Sokha because he is my coworker who worked on the same case.”

Court spokesman Ly Sophanna could not be reached for comment.

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