A LLEGATIONS of documented corruption to the highest levels of the National
Police contributed to Noun Soeur losing his job as deputy police chief, he
Soeur - who was sacked by Co-Minister of Interior You Hockry
last month - told the Post that he had caught one of Hockry's advisors receiving
"I collected documents [against the advisor, presented
them to Hockry] and said 'remove me or remove this guy'. In the end, [Hockry]
protected his advisor," Soeur said.
"You Hockry got very angry with me...
he played the role to oust me from my position," said Soeur, who was widely
regarded as having been Hockry's "right hand man".
Hockry said in reply
that he did not want to elaborate on why Soeur was dismissed, other than to say
"he couldn't fulfill his mission" and that "his attitude towards his
subordinates was not acceptable".
Hockry confirmed that an internal
"committee" was investigating allegations that one of his advisors had received
corrupt money, but that was not the reason Soeur was fired.
didn't see the man take the money. He just received a report from someone else"
which implicated the unnamed advisor as corrupt, Hockry said.
corrupt will be removed," he said.
Hockry appeared to accept that the
allegation had validity by saying that his fellow minister, Sar Kheng, "wanted
to degrade" the advisor. Hockry said that "at some point, I wanted to remove the
[advisor] from his position. But to remove the man without an investigation, we
cannot do that".
In another allegation of internal police corruption -
something recently highlighted in Khmer newspapers - it was claimed that
big-money contracts and tenders to provide the police with food, clothes and
many other supplies were being artificially "jacked."
Soeur told the
Post that he also believed his attempts to promote more FUNCINPEC police chiefs
within a CPP-dominated hierachy helped cost him his job.
deliberately distanced himself from Soeur after it became plain that FUNCINPEC
could not shake CPP's stranglehold, Soeur said.
Of Cambodia's 133 police
chiefs or deputy chiefs, CPP had 113 and FUNCINPEC 20, Soeur said. CPP chiefs
also headed each of Cambodia's 20 police border units.
FUNCINPEC have [the chief's] position, they have no office. They are the ones
who have to stand around under the trees," Soeur said.
Soeur said Hockry
gave him responsibility to correct the imbalance, but then withdrew his support
and accused Soeur of "making problems."
Hockry, however, said that "it is
my responsibility to find better positions for FUNCINPEC [officers], not Noun
Hockry said he was actively trying to "integrate" the police
force "but you have to understand our situation."