The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged an official from the government’s Council for the Development of Cambodia for accepting payoffs in the course of his duties.
Lay Tharoth, deputy head of the CDC’s Department of Investment Project Evaluation and Incentives, was charged under articles 592 and 593 of the Criminal Code, which relates to the misappropriation of public funds, according to court spokesman Ly Sophana.
The 33-year-old was arrested on Friday by Anti-Corruption Unit officers and faced his first hearing the following day.
“The prosecutor has finished questioning and examining documents in the case, which was sent from the Anti-Corruption Unit,” Sophana said.
“He decided to open an investigation by charging Lay Tharoth. The case has been sent to the investigating judge to continue the procedure.
“He is involved with accepting inappropriate money. The money comes from a Cambodian company,” Sophana said, before declining to specify further details.
Tharoth faces between two and five years in prison and a maximum fine of about $2,500 if convicted.
Contacted yesterday, ACU president Om Yentieng, currently spearheading a widely criticised investigation into an alleged affair by opposition leader Kem Sokha, also declined to discuss details of the case.
“Why do you want to dig deeper into this? It is against the law. The law stipulates that we must protect the source,” Yentieng said.
Meas Chanpiseth, deputy prosecutor in charge of the case, declined to comment.