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PP court staffer denies corruption allegations

The facade of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Licadho
The facade of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Licadho

PP court staffer denies corruption allegations

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court official accused of pocketing fines and fees paid at the court and of using a court car for personal use has denied the claims, according to the nation’s anti-graft body.

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Monday released a letter from court director Taing Sunlay saying official Dann Chantreavatey had not acted improperly. The letter was issued in response to an anonymous complaint received by the ACU.

In his letter, Sunlay says Chantreavatey had received express permission from the court’s secretariat to use two court cars to transfer money paid to the court to the Finance Ministry. In a section written by Chantreavatey, the official admits to pocketing petty cash while working at the court but claims it was nothing nefarious.

“For example, a complaint form costs 5,000 riel. But [some applicants] had $2 [about 8,000 riel] or 10,000 riel and they did not wait for the change,” she said, adding she believed the complaint came from people who were angry they had to pay for the forms at all.

ACU Chairman Om Yentieng, in his own letter released on Monday, issued a cryptic warning: “Do not use small things as a pretext to hide big things.” He could not be reached for comment yesterday to clarify.

By phone yesterday, Sunlay said that the disorganised use of court cars had predated his tenure, but that he planned to fix the issue. He declined to comment further on the graft claims.

Sunlay’s predecessor, Ang Mal-tey, lost his position in disgrace and was ultimate arrested last year for corruption.

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