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Provincial prosecutor suspended

Provincial prosecutor suspended

THE Ministry of Justice has temporarily suspended a Kampong Speu prosecutor after finding him guilty of corruption and breaching codes of judicial ethics.

The ministry issued a letter Monday suspending prosecutor Kong Seth for an unspecified amount of time on seven counts of misconduct, said Kim Sophorn, a court inspector in the ministry's General Department of Inspection.

"Five of the seven irregularities relate to his breaches of the moral code of the judicial profession under the code of criminal procedure, and the other two relate to his connections with illegal timber smugglers," he said.

He added that the investigation was initiated following complaints from local people, and officials at the province and district level and took place in December.

Kim Sophorn said the prosecutor repeatedly failed to fulfil his professional obligations by recently releasing three charged suspects on bail, something only those who are investigating charges are authorised to do.

Leading Phnom Penh Lawyer Kav Soupha said he welcomed the decision, but added that he was concerned Kong Seth might offend again if stricter measures were not taken.  

"I am concerned if he is suspended just temporarily, he will be moved to another place in a similar or different position, which is unjust if he was found guilty of corruption or was releasing suspects unlawfully," he told the Post.

Kim Sophorn said he did not know whether Kong Seth would be allowed to resume his career elsewhere. Kong Seth could not be reached for comment.