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Judge sued for bribery, false imprisonment

A KAMPONG Cham woman has launched a lawsuit against a local judge, accusing the magistrate - who she claims tried to bribe her - of unlawfully keeping her son behind bars.

Ea Heang Leng, 58, a resident of Suong Khang Lech village, Suong commune, alleges the judge violated the law in detaining her son unfairly.
His imprisonment, she said, has brought pain and shame on his family.

Her son, Nguon Sok Sreng, 23, was arrested in August, months after he had allegedly attacked another person, the woman's lawyer, Kea Eav, said Wednesday.

"The event happened seven months ago, but the judge has detained the suspect ... without referring to any reasons, evidence or reports for charging him at all," he said.

Kea Eav also claims the judge demanded that the family pay US$2,000 to speed up the legal process, an allegation that is not part of the lawsuit, which was filed with the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Council of Magistracy.

The Post reached the accused Kampong Cham province judge, Nhean Sovan, by phone this week, but he said he could not comment on the case because he was busy in a meeting.

For Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, the case is more evidence that "corruption" has turned the judiciary system into a "fish market".

"Judges, clerks and prosecutors make irresponsible decisions that are not based on clear sources or evidence," Ou Virak said.

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