Monday, 23 January 2012
Mom Kunthear and Khouth Sophak Chakrya
The Phnom Penh Post
A judge from Kandal province was charged with bribery and detained in the capital’s Prey Sar prison late yesterday.
Another judge was released after both appeared in court for questioning for allegedly attempting to extort money from a provincial cadastral land official.
Provincial prosecutor Uk Kimsith told the Post yesterday one of two provincial judges had been charged with bribery and sent to the prison after testifying in court.
“The judge Hout Heang was charged with bribery and sent to Prey Sar, but female judge Khov Chan Pho was not charged,” he said.
Anti Corruption Unit spokesperson Keo Remy said yesterday the provincial prosecutor had charged Hout Heang with bribery under Article 517 of the criminal code.
“Before I left the court, I saw the judicial police send Hout Heang to Prey Sar and the female judge was released,” Keo Remy said, adding that Huot Heang could face between seven and 10 years in prison.
ACU officials had arrested the two judges on Friday night, and it had been ascertained during questioning that only one of the judges was involved in the alleged extortion, Keo Remy said.
“We detained them at the ACU for questioning and sent them back to Kandal provincial court,” he said.
“We have the document to show the [provincial] prosecutor that the female judge was not involved in extortion.
“According to the confession of Hout Heang, he said only he extorted US$5,000 from the victim,” Keo Remy said.
“Hout Heang told us that Judge Khov Chan Pho was not involved with the money he extorted from the victim.
“The victim in the case had asked Khov Chan Pho to be a witness because she is the victim’s friend.”
Keo Remy said Hout Heang had told provincial cadastral official Yem Veouch, who is involved in a land dispute, to pay him $5,000 or he would sign off on a warrant to arrest her.
Yem Veouch had filed the complaint to the ACU and the two judges had been arrested while the money was being exchanged, he said.
“We investigated and searched carefully before we [made the arrests],” Keo Remy said.
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