CMAC director-general Khem Sophoan has approached the environmental watchdog NGO
Global Witness to do a full and impartial investigation into scandal-plagued CMAC
operations in Kampot.
"We will send another investigation [of CMAC's Kampot operations] that will
be led by Global Witness," Sophoan told the Post in an interview on Aug 30.
"We have sent [Global Witness] a letter and must ask UNDP for additional funding
[to pay for the investigation]."
According to Sophoan, the investigation would begin as early as mid-September depending
on the readiness of Global Witness and the availability of necessary funding.
Contacted by email at the headquarters of Global Witness in London, Global Witness
Director Patrick Alley confirmed that CMAC personnel had approached him regarding
an investigation into DU3 but he had heard nothing further.
Global Witness is a British-based NGO which focuses on the links between environmental
and human rights abuses.
"I said we would be interested [in leading a DU3 investigation] because it's
an important issue, and although it's nothing directly to do with trees, it does
fall in our general strategy of investigating corruption, trying to expose what some
really [amoral] people seem to be capable of," Alley said.
Sophoan confirmed that pressure to conform to the demands of donor countries to resolve
the irregularities in Kampot's Demining Unit 3 (DU3) prompted the decision to enlist
the assistance of Global Witness.
"It's a difficult problem," Sophoan said of the DU3 scandal. "There's
been no result so donors say they are still not confident [in renewing funding to
The release of the "key findings" of a CMAC investigation into evidence
of widespread irregularities in DU3 uncovered by CMAC Quality Assurance TA Stefan
Carlsson in July was one of the demands donors classified as requiring "immediate"