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Preah Vihear officials charged in graft case

Preah Vihear officials charged in graft case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged two officials from the Preah Vihear mines and energy department with corruption yesterday, with a former colleague linking the charges to an illicit 2014 land sale.

Kong Makara, director of the Preah Vihear provincial department of mines, and Nuon Phally, the department’s finance officer, were charged under articles of the Criminal Code and Anti-Corruption Law relating to intentional destruction of an asset in an official’s care and embezzlement, said Ly Sophana, a spokesman for the court.

A former director of the department, Sam Leang Ny, said the case was related to the sale of state land in 2014 that was authorised by Makara and executed by Phally. The complaint was filed by the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts, he added.

“Phally was the one selling the land, not Kong Makara,” Leang Ny said. “But he is the institution’s director and has to take the responsibility.”

However, Um Sotha, spokesman of Ministry of Industry, said his ministry had not filed a complaint.

Mines Ministry spokesman Suy Dimanche said he had no details on the case.

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