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Report filed to Hun Sen over alleged irregularities in judicial examination

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Head of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Om Yentieng. The ACU participated in the process of the 10th judicial examination last November. Heng Chivoan

Report filed to Hun Sen over alleged irregularities in judicial examination

Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president and member of the Supreme Consultation Forum Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung on Monday submitted a report to Prime Minister Hun Sen alleging irregularities in the November judicial examination.

He told The Post on Monday that earlier this month, five candidates complained to him over irregularities in the 10th judicial examination prepared by the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Academy of Judicial Professions in November last year.

Candidates who successfully passed the examination were to enrol in further classes to become judges.

He said he had referred the case to Hun Sen after an initial investigation.

“We found two points, but I cannot elaborate now because it is still under investigation and thus cannot be revealed. We’ll wait for the prime minister to review it directly first,” he said.

Vathana Sabung said he also planned to summon Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana to clarify the matter.

“Candidates and relevant institutions knew about [such irregularities], but they did not dare to speak up because it involved the powerful.

“In our capacity as members of the Supreme Consultation Forum, we must [reveal] it. If we don’t, who else dares to do so? We expect a resolution to this case.”

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Chin Malin told The Post that the examination was held transparently.

“Concerning the procedures, the ministry has clarified many times already about transparency in the [examination] preparations. The entire process, including the written and oral tests, and scoring, was transparent, with participation from the Anti-Corruption Unit [ACU],” he said.

“The ACU also issued a press release acknowledging transparency in the ministry’s examination preparation process,” he said.

On November 23-24 last year, an ACU working group comprising 44 members participated in the process of the 10th judicial examination, which selected 50 out of 650 candidates.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

After the results were announced, criticism followed, with Vathana Sabung alleging irregularities following the selection of a 20-year-old candidate.

In response, the ACU released a statement clarifying that the examination had proceeded properly and that the successful candidates had met all the prerequisites, including age and qualifications, among others.

The ACU said it found a woman, You Somnea, to have met all the specified criteria, with her enrolled in primary school at the age of four – two years ahead of the Kingdom’s mandatory age for children to be enrolled.

As a result, it said she is free to continue in the two-year programme to become a judge.

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