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Shake-up may move judicial figures to new positions

Shake-up may move judicial figures to new positions

Twenty judges and prosecutors may soon find themselves pulling up stakes and tackling new jurisdictions, according to a draft list detailing a wide-ranging judicial reshuffling obtained by the Post yesterday.

In the proposed shake-up, Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Chiv Keng will be moved into a position as a deputy president of the Supreme Court, as will current Siem Reap Provincial Court and Khmer Rouge tribunal trial chamber president Nil Nonn.

Four Phnom Penh court prosecutors, meanwhile, will be bumped up to the appellate level, and Banteay Meanchey court president Ang Meal Dey will replace Keng in Phnom Penh.

The document includes no details as to when the reshuffle might occur, but Oum Daravuth, chief of King Norodom Sihamoni’s cabinet, said yesterday that the Supreme Council of Magistracy – on which the King sits – would be meeting to discuss the moves when the King returns from Beijing.

“The Supreme Council of Magistracy will hold the meeting on the 29th of this month to issue new orders or move prosecutors, judges and presidents of the courts,” Daravuth said, characterising the staffing changes as a routine rotation.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan and Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana declined to comment yesterday.

Current Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor Ek Chheng Hourt – who, according to the draft list, will become prosecutor at Kampot Provincial Court – said yesterday that such reshuffles usually come every four or five years, and that such a move was about due, but added that he had heard nothing official about the matter.

Kem Sokha, deputy president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, characterised the planned movement of judges and prosecutors as a pointless gesture, and called for concrete judicial reforms.

“Reforming the courts to fear the law and [not engage in] corruption will not happen until the Supreme Council of Magistracy is really independent,” he said. “Movements like this are not reforms.”

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