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.”


  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong