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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Legal post goes to ousted Court of Appeal president

Legal post goes to ousted Court of Appeal president

Ly Vouchleng's appointment to the Council of Ministers comes 17 months after allegations of corruption resulted in her dismissal.

TIE TO THE KRT

You Bunleng, co-investigating judge at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, was appointed to replace Ly Vouchleng at the Court of Appeal after her removal. He initially said he might not be able to remain at the tribunal but eventually decided to stay on.

LY Vouchleng has been appointed as legal counsel to the Council of Ministers some 17 months after a corruption scandal led to her removal from her post as president of the Court of Appeal, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told the Post Sunday.

A royal decree issued in August 2007 ousted Ly Vouchleng from the Court of Appeal in response to allegations that the court had been bribed into releasing two human trafficking suspects.   

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith defended the new appointment as "legal" and declined to comment on the past corruption case, deferring questions about that to "the person who decided to appoint her", whom he said he could not name.

Phay Siphan said he did not know who approved the appointment and could not say whether past allegations of wrongdoing levied against her had figured in the decision.

"I just know that she was appointed to the position of legal counsel at the Council of Ministers and that her background is in legal expertise," he said.

Ly Vouchleng could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Kek Galabru, president of the rights group Licadho, said she had not heard of the appointment but that any decision to place Ly Vouchleng in a government post would be "difficult to understand" in light of the government's claims to be actively rooting out corruption.

"I feel very sorry if there really is a new appointment of Ly Vouchleng," she told the Post Sunday. 

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