Attorney General Accused of Intervening in Court Cases

The president of the Bar Asso­ciation of the Kingdom of Cam­bodia has sent a letter to Attorney General Kao Bun Hong warning him to stop using his influence in court cases or he will be disbarred.

Ang Eng Thong said Kao Bun Hong gets involved in private cases and interferes in the work of other lawyers and judges. Sometimes Kao Bun Hong even orders local authorities to settle a case, Ang Eng Thong said.

For example, Kao Bun Hong recently called a businessman who was a client of attorney Puth Theavy for a private meeting, Ang Eng Thong said. The businessman is a relative of a Council of Ministers employee.

“This kind of action indicates he is using his power to interfere in private cases,” Ang Eng Thong said. He sent the letter to Kao Bun Hong Jan 9.

Kao Bun Hong said his critics are exaggerating and said he is a lawyer only for the government. He also said he never used his power to suppress judges and prosecutors or used his influence for his own interest.

“If they don’t believe me, please check the cases in the court to see whether I intervened,” he said.

In the case of Puth Theavy’s client, Kao Bun Hong said the businessman told him he did not have a lawyer, so he called the two sides in the case to explain the law and help them reach an agreement.

“I have a right to call them if they have no lawyer,” Kao Bun Hong said. “I did not require them to come. Now both sides agreed and the defendant is going to pay the plaintiff.”

Puth Theavy said he is the businessman’s lawyer and stressed that Kao Bun Hong had no right to call his client to a meeting.

“Kao Bun Hong does not act as a lawyer,” Puth Theavy said. “He is doing this for money.”

Ang Eng Thong said Kao Bun Hong broke a 1999 promise to him in which the attorney general said he would not become involved in private cases.

“If he does not stop this action, his name will be removed from the bar,” Ang Eng Thong said.



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