Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Enforcing the UNTAC laws

Enforcing the UNTAC laws

Enforcing the UNTAC laws

To prosecute corruption cases, Cambodia currently uses laws developed during the UNTAC period of the early 1990s. Although the UNTAC laws are limited to forms of bribery and embezzlement, anti-corruption officials have still had some success in using these laws.

 

"A number of cases were brought to court in Battambang in 2002 where a former head of the appeal court was removed for allegedly accepting a $30,000 bribe," said Sek Barisoth, executive director of the Mainstreaming Anti-Corruption for Equity program, set up by PACT Cambodia.

 

The corruption case against ex-Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh filed by his former party colleagues in 2006 was also based on UNTAC law. Ranariddh was accused of breach of trust and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2007.

 

However, Roger Henke co-coordinator of the Democratization and Peace Building Program, says that "this was an instance where laws were passed quickly to use against opposition candidates such as Ranariddh.”

 

Sok Sam Oeun, Cambodian Defence Project director, says the existing laws are adequate but implementation remains a problem. The current legislation only allows "the prosecution of corruption to occur based on confession,” he says.

 

"The problem is on evidence,” he adds. “Corruption is not flagrant so it is difficult for police to find. In order for change to occur we must improve technologies in investigation.”

 

He says police officers often feel they can only investigate ordinary people, not politicians, and that investigations are rarely conducted in depth.

 

“It would be better if police were granted more tools to investigate,” he says. “Judges are comfortable with the present law, they believe it shouldn’t change.”

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on