Cambodian ambassador to Korea Long Dimanche told The Post on Wednesday that the Republic of Korea (ROK) will provide Cambodia with a loan of almost $50 million to build a forensic centre.
The ROK will assist with its construction and train judges, prosecutors and related authorities in forensic work related to crimes involving women, drugs, terrorism and the internet, among others.
The forensic centre will be equipped with modern tools, but before it can be constructed, the government needs to make an official request.
“Our government is interested in this construction and needs this centre. During discussions with South Korea and countries in the Mekong region, and at the Mekong-Korea Summit 2019 in Busan, Korea, we raised ideas about fighting against all types of crimes in the region, but Cambodia didn’t make an official request,” Dimanche said.
The ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Interior; Justice, and Economy and Finance held a meeting to discuss the request, he said.
Justice ministry spokesman Chin Malin said on Wednesday that he did not receive news about the centre yet.
The Post could not contact Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak or Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong for comments on Wednesday.
Dimanche said he will lead colleagues on a visit to a forensic centre in the ROK later this month to study in detail the plan and write a report for the government.
Lawyers Sam Chamroeun and Sok Samoeun declined to comment about the plan on Wednesday.
Dimanche and his colleagues held a meeting led by the former director of the Criminal Investigation and Research Centre of the Ministry of Interior and Security of the ROK Joong Seok Seo to discuss law procedure.
Licadho monitoring manager Am Sam Ath said on Wednesday that prosecutors and judges always depended on reports from authorities in charge of forensics, but they do not investigate or analyse forensics in detail.
He said he supports the building and training plan from Korean experts. It is a part of reforming the court system. As of now, there are no judges or prosecutors who utilise forensics in cases, he said.
“I support having this centre because it is another reform for the court system. Another important point is that we want an independent court system that people have faith in. This can be done by using forensic evidence and judgment according to the law,” he said.