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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court charges lawyer with bribing judge

Lawyer Pich Ratana is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court after being questioned over corruption yesterday.
Lawyer Pich Ratana is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court after being questioned over corruption yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Court charges lawyer with bribing judge

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged lawyer Pich Ratana, 40, with attempting to bribe a judge following his arrest by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Tuesday. Six lawyers from the Cambodian Bar Association have volunteered to defend.

One, Chou Chantyra, confirmed the charges against his client. “The court charged him under articles 4 and 32 of the Anti-Corruption Law and Article 518 of the Criminal Code,” Chantyra said.

“The court decided to detain him . . . and he has been sent to prison.”

Article 4 defines the terms governing the Anti-Corruption Law, while 32 lists the corruption offences covered by the existing Criminal Code, Article 518 of which is bribing a judge.

Deputy prosecutor Ngin Pech also confirmed yesterday Ratana had been charged with bribery, but declined to comment further. ACU president Om Yentieng hung up on a reporter. Saing Vannak, another of Ratana’s lawyers, said on Wednesday his client’s record was unblemished.

“He was a long-term member [of the Bar Association],” Vannak said. “He never received any warning and never made a mistake.”



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Don Rennie's picture

Dear Dara,

Attempting to bribe a judge or anyone is a serious issue, much more serious than the Kem Sokha scandal. Why the ACU's president hung up on a reporter is also unusual.

The ACU is going after small fish with the arrest of this lawyer. Instead, the ACU should be arresting the whales who have amassed huge amounts of money through corruption.

Where would the ACU look to find the whales? The whales are seen everywhere at all levels of government, beginning at the top.

Maybe the ACU should be renamed the Pro-Corruption Unit.


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