OFFICIALS last Thursday posted a notice on a public notice board in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court warning people to avoid middlemen who promise to influence court decisions in exchange for large sums of money.
"There were a number of middlemen and cheaters outside the court asking for bribes who said they could win a court case if they paid money," said Chiv Keng, the chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Court. "We have made efforts to make reforms in the judicial system ... but there are bad people destroying the reputation of the court."
He encouraged people who believe they have been cheated to file complaints, to report middlemen anonymously by calling a hotline (011 610 581), or to drop off a letter in a box in front of the court.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, said not all middlemen were con artists, as some do have influence with the court. While serving a prison sentence in 2006 for defamation and incitement, he saw prisoners bribe their way our of jail using middlemen, he said.
But Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said many Cambodians had fallen victim to middlemen who in fact had no pull with the court.
"Our people are poorly educated, therefore they are easy to cheat," he said.