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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fraud probe resumes

Fraud probe resumes

The investigation into alleged fraud at the Cambodian Institute for Human Rights

(CIHR) took a turn for the worse when the auditing firm conducting the

investigation apparently told donors it could not produce a report due to a lack

of cooperation encountered within CIHR.

Donors hastily organized a

meeting with auditor Price-WaterhouseCoopers (PwC) April 10 to resolve the

problem. CIHR's Kassie Neou said he did not attend the meeting and refused

further comment, as did PwC head Senaka Fernando, who cited client

confidentiality.

Donors were also tight-lipped. The European Commission

said its head was the only person who could speak to the media and that he was

out of the country. Michael Barton of Canada's CIDA refused comment.

Pia

Hammar of Swedish NGO Forum Syd told the Post the investigation was continuing.

She confirmed that the meeting had taken place April 10 to keep it

going.

"[The auditors] felt they couldn't go forward in the spirit that

they wanted," said Hammar. She declined to comment on where PwC had indicated

the problems lay, but said the investigation would likely be finished in "a

couple of weeks".

"All I can say is that the investigation is going on,

as there are some issues left in the investigation," she said. "The outcome of

that is not clear, but they are working on it."

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