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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inmate files complaint against state officials

Inmate files complaint against state officials

KONG Khorn, a woman serving a   10-year prison term for extorting money in connection with a 2008 land dispute, has appealed her conviction, alleging that three government officials should be serving time in her place.

Ouk Savuth, prosecutor general at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said he was investigating a complaint from Kong Khorn accusing several officials of extortion and bribery. Horm Kunthy, who heads the municipal penal police office at the Ministry of Interior; Nov Nil, chief of Svay Teap village in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pesei district; and Prom Nai, chief of Angkor Porpel commune have all been named in the woman’s complaint, he said.

“We are now working hard on this issue,” Ouk Savuth said.

Kong Khorn’s husband Tea Chamroeun said yesterday that his wife, currently in Prey Sar prison, was innocent of the charges. She had attempted to help a friend, Mao Phearom, who was embroiled in a land dispute, he said.

In 2008, Mao Phearom, a 43-year-old woman living in Svay Teap village, became involved in a dispute with Seng Vannak, 42.

Kong Khorn approached Horm Kunthy, who was working locally for the Ministry of Interior, and upon his recommendation, Mao Phearom filed a complaint against Seng Vannak.

After several aborted meetings organised to settle the issue, he said, Nov Nil and Prom Nai then paid US$400 to Horm Kunthy to resolve the problem.

At this point, Tea Chamroeun said, Horm Kunthy accused Kong Khorn of extortion, perhaps because he “knew that he had done something against the law”.

“[Horm Kunthy] filed a complaint [alleging] extortion against her, and then he arrested her on June 17, 2008… and she was jailed until today”, he said.

Horm Kunthy, Nov Nil and Prom Nai could not be reached for comment yesterday.

But Mok Chito, director of the Ministry of Interior’s department of penal police, said the accusations against Horm Kunthy were trumped-up.

“I don’t think that my police officer was involved in this accusation, which is just an attack by the convicted person,” he said yesterday.

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