City Hall Officials Set Free After Guilty Verdict

Two City Hall officials will walk free despite being found guilty of corruption following an investigation by the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the Phnom Penh Municipal Court ruled on Wednesday.

Roth Borey, who served as head of the municipality’s planning and investment division, and Mai Vannarum, who worked in the same department, were handed two-year prison sentences and were each ordered to pay fines of 4 million riel, or about $1,000, for misappropriating public funds in August 2015.

But Judge Ros Piseth suspended the remainder of the sentences—although the pair had only been held in provisional detention since March 2—without explanation.

Representatives for the ACU and City Hall could not be reached or did not respond to requests for comment.

Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager at rights group Licadho, said the courts had long been accused of having double standards, with those affiliated with “the powerful party” often receiving lenient treatment.

To stamp out corruption, “there should be serious implementation of the law” to instill public confidence in the courts, he said.

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