Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group protests ruling on judge

Group protests ruling on judge

Group protests ruling on judge

A LEADING human rights group has expressed its concern about the outcome of a Ministry of Justice investigation into Ratanakkiri Judge Thor Saron, accused of using a pickup truck confiscated during a murder investigation.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) rejected the ministry’s ruling that Thor Saron’s use of the truck was permissible since it was “in response to an actual demand and was in the public interest”.

“The CCHR opines that this revelation is contrary to the evidence against Judge Thor and is disappointed by what it considers a missed opportunity for the Justice Ministry,” the statement said, adding it would write to King Norodom Sihamoni in a bid to reopen the invesigation.

CCHR president Ou Virak said the ruling set a “horrible precedent” by legitimising the confiscation of private property by court officials.

“This will add a lot of incentive for judges to confiscate valuables,” he said. “This is an ongoing problem with the Cambodian courts in general.”

Kim Sophorn, a court inspector at the Ministry’s General Inspection Department said Thar Saron’s use of the truck did not warrant further punitive action. “For reasons of necessity, it was used for transporting culprits and prisoners from prison to prosecution at the court house,” he said.

When contacted on Sunday, Thor Saron welcomed the inspection team’s assessment but did not comment further.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the