The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will investigate a complaint lodged against a police officer and a lawyer by two people who accuse them of corruption, said the unit’s head.
ACU chief Om Yentieng said the suspects – Sok Rith, the deputy chief of the Intervention Office at the Phnom Penh municipal police, and Dol Sokha, a lawyer – are said to have offered a bribe and interfered in the affairs of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Yentieng acted on the complaint which was posted to the Facebook page of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
According to the complaint filed by Taing Bopha, 44, and Taing Hukchy, 52, on May 20, the National Police arrested Tuon Sovanna, 35, the director-general of a microfinance institution (MFI), on suspicion of extortion and sent him to Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
The complaint said Sovanna hired Suon Bunthoeun to defend him. Seeking assistance for his client, Bunthoeun contacted Sokha, who, apart from being a lawyer, is also a close friend to Rith, who allegedly assists suspects to get off scot-free.
“On the same day [of the arrest], Sokha called Rith to intervene to free Sovanna, who paid [Sokha] $8,000,” the complaint read.
“Their action severely affects the reputation of the national judicial system, especially this close to the election, and that is unacceptable.
“Therefore, His Excellency [Yentieng] should investigate the case thoroughly and punish the offenders,” the complaint added.
Sokha told The Post he was approached by Bunthoeun and they defended Sovanna in court, but that was as far as it went.
“I have not done any of the things alleged in the complaint. I defended my client and received only my professional fees. I did not receive a bribe nor gave one to anybody,” he said.
Yengtieng told The Post on Wednesday that the unit would discuss the case on Thursday.
“We got it today. Tomorrow, we will discuss the matter at the usual ACU meeting. The complainants may attend and listen to our discussion to clarify the exact nature of the complaint,” he said.
According to DAP News, on April 20, Riel Sophin, a deputy prosecutor for the municipal court, ordered the release of a man, the director-general of an MFI, claiming that there was no evidence to charge him.
The same news outlet on February 5 reported that a 61-year-old woman sued Tuon Sovanna and three others.
The DAP report said that on September 13, last year, Sovanna and a few of his friends went to the home of the woman, telling her that he was with a microfinance institution.
They told her that her son, Leng Viseth, owed them $123,000 and that she had to pay off the loan or they would sue her.
The woman complained to the court, which ordered the arrests.