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Anti-corruption chief Om Yentieng vows exposé

While pushing forward discussions on the slated whistleblower law, the Anti-Corruption Unit is also working on exposing a “conspiracy network” that “could be very harmful to national interests”, ACU chief Om Yentieng revealed on Monday.

During a seminar on journalists’ role in good governance and anti-corruption on Monday, Yentieng said that in the last four years, the ACU has been focusing on charging individuals suspected of corruption.

But this year, however, the unit plans to uncover a corruption ring involving several officials.

“What’s new for 2015, is that we’re working on a conspiracy network, which would be very harmful for the nation,” Yentieng said. “I could not tell what it is right now. We need time to work on it.”

In 2014, the ACU received complaints – 50 per cent of them anonymous – that totalled to 1,008 cases, according to Yentieng.

“Some accused us of having political interests and arresting only small officials and not big ones, but we did not do that,” he added. “Unless we have the evidence, we would arrest all and not just lower officials, but also the high officials. Most of our cases, there were more high officials involved.”

At the seminar, the ACU chief also addressed the draft of a planned law to protect whistleblowers reporting corruption in the Kingdom.

The law, which Yentieng announced the ACU was working on in late November of last year, is currently being discussed by the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior before being submitted to the Council of Ministers.

“We have succeeded with the help of the whistleblowers who cooperate with no fear, therefore, to ensure their safety, this is important to urge for this law,” said Transparency International Cambodia’s Preap Kol.

Minister of Justice cabinet director Sorn Sophorn confirmed that the draft is now being processed but he could not tell how much of it is finished.

“I see the commitment from our government about this law. I will keep on pushing forward,” Yentieng said.

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