The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced disgraced former Meanchey district police chief Hy Narin to three years in prison on corruption charges, but suspended half of the prison term.
“Based on real proof and the accused’s confessions, the court has found that Hy Narin was guilty,” presiding judge Kor Vandy said yesterday morning.
Vandy also ordered Narin to pay about $1,500 in fines and to return the more than $1.35 million he was found to have stolen from government coffers over the course of his eight-year tenure as chief.
According to Vandy, Narin was guilty of three charges: misappropriation of public funds, misappropriations made by civil servants, and illegal exploitation of the national budget under multiple articles of the Anti-Corruption Law and the Cambodian Penal Code. He was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on September 30.
Prosecutor Vong Bunpiseth said that Narin was guilty of a litany of abuses of power.
The court heard that Narin took some $221,000 in the form of ghost employee salaries; charged citizens more for family books, an essential registration document; forced police under his command to buy equipment from him, costs his department was supposed to bear; pocketed state funds intended to pay for protest-control training; sold confiscated motorbikes and took money from motorbike owners who were behind on their taxes; took payouts from businesses, some illegal, residing within his jurisdiction; skimmed from the salaries of his own officers; and took 10 per cent off of the top of all monetary settlements reached after traffic accidents.
Over the course of his trial, Narin confessed to the charges against him, but said that he had only pocketed half of the missing money. The other half had been distributed to his deputies and other officers, he said, requesting a reduced sentence.
Speaking after yesterday’s hearing, Narin took the verdict in his stride. “I think the court’s decision on my punishment . . . I can accept it. But the court’s fine was very heavy for me,”
“Now I have not decided whether I will appeal this to the Appeal Court or not, because I need time to consider and consult with my lawyer first,” he added.