Fourteen sentenced in bribery case

Fourteen sentenced in bribery case

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced 14 people, including district officials, over a bribery scandal involving illegal water reservoirs built in protected areas near the Tonle Sap lake.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court presiding judge Heng Kesaror handed five-year terms, suspended to two, to Theang Thy, 35, Thav Tum, 33 and Meng Phally, 52, who were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit.

The three men were also fined $250 after being found guilty of bribing officials in 2012 to secure permission to create irrigation reservoirs, also used as fish farms, on 700 hectares of state land in Kampong Thom province’s Stong district’s Chamna Leu commune.

The men collected money from about 1,000 families and offered payments of between $250 and $5,000 to 11 officials who were also sentenced yesterday.

Pum Thy, 62, former chief of Chamnar Leu commune and Chea Sivutha, 50, former chief of the Provincial Fisheries Office in Kampong Thom, who have yet to be arrested, received five-year sentences, suspended to two and $250 fines. The others, including district fisheries, forest administration and environment officials, military police and economic police, were handed two-year sentences, suspended to six months.

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