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Whistleblower law nearly done: ACU

Anti-Corruption Unit chief Om Yentieng speaks at a workshop on Monday where progress on the Kingdom’s draft whistleblower protection law was discussed.
Anti-Corruption Unit chief Om Yentieng speaks at a workshop on Monday where progress on the Kingdom’s draft whistleblower protection law was discussed. Sreng Meng Srun

Whistleblower law nearly done: ACU

Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) boss Om Yentieng has said the Kingdom’s whistleblower and witness protection draft law was nearly complete, while at the same time lashing out at Transparency International Cambodia for not assisting in the process, something the group flatly denied.

Speaking at a journalist workshop on Monday, Yentieng said that the draft law was 90 percent complete and was now headed to the Justice Ministry for further consultation on punishments and other punitive measures aimed at protecting witnesses and whistleblowers.

“In any country, for the punishment, it is handed to the Ministry of Justice and then we make the suggestion to the National Assembly,” Yentieng told the attending journalists.

The law is intended to provide protections and confidentiality to whistleblowers, as well as immunity from civil or criminal liabilities. The law was expected to be completed in July of 2016.

Yentieng also lashed out at TI Cambodia, accusing them of not providing technical assistance and questioning the group’s annual corruption rankings, which last year placed Cambodia 156th out of 176 countries, behind all Asean states, including Myanmar.

“Why does it rank this country [Myanmar] higher than us, as it is more corrupt than us,” he said. “TI does not put much effort. [But] I do not want to reveal the truth.”

Preap Kol, head of the transparency group, said its rankings were calculated using credible data from development institutions and expert opinions.

He added that the group had seconded a legal expert to help the ACU with drafting the whistleblower law, though his suggestions were not always heeded.

“He [the expert] participates regularly with ACU. What we have advised be included in the law has been accepted in small amounts,” he said.

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