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ACU, Sokha antagonists meet

Srey Chamroeun, leader of a student group that filed a corruption complaint against Kem Sokha, attends a meeting at the Anti-Corruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Srey Chamroeun, leader of a student group that filed a corruption complaint against Kem Sokha, attends a meeting at the Anti-Corruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

ACU, Sokha antagonists meet

ACU “experts” will verify whether leaked recorded conversations, purportedly featuring CNRP leader Kem Sokha promising to give cash and property to mistresses, are genuine before announcing whether to take action, the body’s president, Om Yentieng, said yesterday.

Roughly 20 ACU officials yesterday met with about 50 students who have lodged a complaint over the tapes, leaked on social media earlier this month.

Attendees were heard on an audio recording obtained by the Post discussing the legal implications of the tapes.

Opinion was divided. Some noted that while immoral, infidelity was not corruption and an individual had the discretion to spend money as they saw fit.

However, it was also suggested that as a lawmaker, Sokha’s finances were fair game to be probed by the ACU.

In one tape, the man tells the woman he’ll set up an account with $4,000 for her to open a small business, while in another, he tells a woman he has acquired a two-bedroom house for her. Yentieng said the references may mean the case falls under the ACU’s purview.

“Our meeting did not focus on the mistress, but we talked about Mon’s house and the $4,000 and where he got the money from,” Yentieng said, referring to alleged mistress “Mon Srey”.

“Srey” has been identified as salon worker Khom Chandaraty, who has denied it is her voice on the recordings.

“I will reply on Thursday about whether to take measures or not since the forensic department is working [on verifying the tapes],” Yentieng said.

The leaking of the tapes has raised questions about how they were obtained and whether Sokha’s phone was tapped.

Yentieng noted Sokha had not lodged a complaint over the recordings’ origins, which he said was incriminating.

“Because he has offered three no’s – no reply, no answer and no argument – it means that Kem Sokha has confessed already that the recording is his voice, and if he wants to file the complaint that people covertly recorded his voice, it is already late,” he said.

Led by Srey Chamroeun, the students – who claim they’re outraged by the recordings – have led a crusade against the CNRP leader since the scandal surfaced, though deny they’re politically affiliated.

Saying he would wait until Thursday, Chamroeun added: “If Kem Sokha does not explain the truth, I will take another hot measure, but I do not want to reveal it now.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of CNRP lawmakers met into the evening yesterday, with party president Sam Rainsy addressing the group via Skype. No details were immediately available.

Additional reporting by Meas Sokchea

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