Two officers with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces were sentenced to one year each in prison for accepting bribes to secure positions for three men in the government’s National Defence University (NDU) in 2013.
Presiding judge Top Chhun Heng said defendants Colonel Ouk Sithorn, 38, an officer in the Ministry of National Defence’s Inspection Department; and Major Kim Sokorn, 40, a medical military officer at NDU, were also ordered to each pay fines of about $250.
“It is ordered that they jointly pay $8,000 to plaintiff” in compensation, he added.
Prosecutor Hing Bunthorn said that in October of 2013, Sithorn and Sokorn agreed to receive $12,000 from plaintiff Heng Rithy in exchange for getting his three nephews enrolled at the NDU, and subsequent positions as medical officers at Ministry of National Defence within three months.
Rithy made an initial payment of $10,000 but his nephews were never given positions, and the pair did not return the money.
Sithorn, Sokhorn and their lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday, but at trial they acknowledged taking Rithy’s money, but not in the amount he alleged.
The pair, who were charged with fraud under articles 377 and 378 of Cambodia’s penal code, said they had only taken $7,500, and blamed the failure to secure the posts on the NDU, which they said didn’t process their documents.