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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ACU, Sokha antagonists meet

Srey Chamroeun, leader of a student group that filed a corruption complaint against Kem Sokha, attends a meeting at the Anti-Corruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Srey Chamroeun, leader of a student group that filed a corruption complaint against Kem Sokha, attends a meeting at the Anti-Corruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

ACU, Sokha antagonists meet

ACU “experts” will verify whether leaked recorded conversations, purportedly featuring CNRP leader Kem Sokha promising to give cash and property to mistresses, are genuine before announcing whether to take action, the body’s president, Om Yentieng, said yesterday.

Roughly 20 ACU officials yesterday met with about 50 students who have lodged a complaint over the tapes, leaked on social media earlier this month.

Attendees were heard on an audio recording obtained by the Post discussing the legal implications of the tapes.

Opinion was divided. Some noted that while immoral, infidelity was not corruption and an individual had the discretion to spend money as they saw fit.

However, it was also suggested that as a lawmaker, Sokha’s finances were fair game to be probed by the ACU.

In one tape, the man tells the woman he’ll set up an account with $4,000 for her to open a small business, while in another, he tells a woman he has acquired a two-bedroom house for her. Yentieng said the references may mean the case falls under the ACU’s purview.

“Our meeting did not focus on the mistress, but we talked about Mon’s house and the $4,000 and where he got the money from,” Yentieng said, referring to alleged mistress “Mon Srey”.

“Srey” has been identified as salon worker Khom Chandaraty, who has denied it is her voice on the recordings.

“I will reply on Thursday about whether to take measures or not since the forensic department is working [on verifying the tapes],” Yentieng said.

The leaking of the tapes has raised questions about how they were obtained and whether Sokha’s phone was tapped.

Yentieng noted Sokha had not lodged a complaint over the recordings’ origins, which he said was incriminating.

“Because he has offered three no’s – no reply, no answer and no argument – it means that Kem Sokha has confessed already that the recording is his voice, and if he wants to file the complaint that people covertly recorded his voice, it is already late,” he said.

Led by Srey Chamroeun, the students – who claim they’re outraged by the recordings – have led a crusade against the CNRP leader since the scandal surfaced, though deny they’re politically affiliated.

Saying he would wait until Thursday, Chamroeun added: “If Kem Sokha does not explain the truth, I will take another hot measure, but I do not want to reveal it now.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of CNRP lawmakers met into the evening yesterday, with party president Sam Rainsy addressing the group via Skype. No details were immediately available.

Additional reporting by Meas Sokchea



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Don Rennie's picture

Dear Samean,

Chamroeun is ignorant of the bigger context of the mess he has created. It's not only about illegally acquired personal phone conversations.

In your March 22, 2016 article you wrote and quoted Chamroeun as saying:

"This purported cash giving," he said, "demonstrates corruption, as politicians should not be able to accrue such wealth."

Asked by reporters yesterday if he was similarly concerned about wealth among the Cambodia People’s Party elite, many of whom are deeply involved in massive business ventures and own palatial mansions, he replied that “he had no evidence” of any corrupt activities among the ruling party.

The reason Chamroeun has no evidence is because he has turned a blind eye to the truth.

If Sokha is investigated by the ACU for corruption, then everyone down from the top, beginning with PM Hun Sen, should be investigated for corruption.

You don't amass a verified fortune and net worth exceeding $100,000,000 (some say $500 million) on a PM's salary of $1,000-1,500/month over 25-30 years of time unless corruption is involved. Do the math.

You do not become a 40% stakeholder in Canadia Bank (as is the case with the PM and his family) or the majority stakeholder in OCIC unless you have a very high net worth.

To view political connections with the PM, prominent tycoons, and the powerful money people in Cambodia go to the following link:

Corruption is corruption. The people of Cambodia are poor people. All reasonable requests for corruption investigations should be done fairly and equitably without fear of interference, reprisal, or crackdown. The outcome of such investigations would shock Cambodians.

Let the truth be known.


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