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Graft arrest around corner says ACU chief

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Anti-Corruption Chief Om Yentieng speaks in Phnom Penh, yesterday, Sept.27, 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

The Anti-Corruption Unit chief vowed yesterday that his office would make a high-profile arrest in coming weeks related to an ongoing investigation at the Preah Vihear Provincial Court.

Speaking at a press conference at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh, ACU president Om Yentieng said the arrest of an unnamed deputy prosecutor for allegations relating to bribery and the freeing of a “perpetrator” was forthcoming.

“The case of the Preah Vihear provincial deputy prosecutor was among 800 complaints [we received],” he said, adding that the arrest could be made as early as next week.

The hundreds of complaints referred to arrived in the office from January to August this year. Although this is the only impending arrest, Yentieng said that about 30 per cent of the complaints were credible enough to deserve an investigation.

His comments came at a workshop on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Implementation Review in Cambodia, during which the ACU agreed to establish a body, known as the steering committee, that would act as a kind of intermediary between the corruption office and the UN.

As for the deputy prosecutor, Yentieng said he had “invited the president of the Preah Vihear Provincial Court, prosecutors, the suspect, clerk and a number of witnesses for questioning and listening, and then we filed the complaint to the court.”

He provided scant detail about the case, saying only it pertained to a quarrel between children of a powerful family and children of a poor family in which the wealthier of the two kids blinded the other.

When the family filed a complaint and police detained the attacker, Yentieng said, his family bought his release with a bribe.

Yentieng said the ACU also had investigations that had lasted for two years and were still in the works, but promised that he would not ignore those cases.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at sokheng.vong@phnompenhpost.com

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