Ministry of Justice officials inaugurated a new courthouse in Pailin yesterday, which they say will prevent locals from having to make the 60 kilometre trek to Battambang provincial court for hearings.
Pailin provincial prosecutor Chum Sensakthea said Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana presided over the inauguration of the one-story court building in Pailin town.
“From now on, we will receive both civil and criminal cases that occur in Pailin to find justice for citizens,” he said. “They do not have to file their complaint at the Battambang provincial court as before.”
Chum Sensakthea, who has just taken up his post, said that Chum Sar has also been appointed as the first president of the court. He said judges started to receive cases yesterday.
Chum Sansakthea added that authorities in Pailin made demands for the establishment of a separate court and prison because of to the hardships faced by citizens and civil servants, who have previously spent both money and time filing complaints and attending hearings in Battambang.
“As the first step, we created the court and we plan to establish a prison in the future. We already have a location for it,” he said.
Heng Hak, director of the Department of Prisons in the Ministry of Interior, confirmed the ministry had plans to build a jail in Pailin, but could not predict when construction would begin on the project.
Chan Saveth, senior investigative officer for the rights group Adhoc, applauded the establishment of the court, saying it would streamline the administration of justice in the area.