Battambang provincial court’s chief prosecutor appointed to investigate courtroom corruption in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s “iron fist” campaign against graft in the country’s legal system was suspended on Saturday, according to officials at the Ministry of Justice.
The Ministry is investigating “irregularities” in Yam Yet’s duties as chief prosecutor, Tuot Lux, the ministry’s secretary of state, said Sunday.
“The Ministry [of Justice] signed the suspension yesterday,” Tuot Lux said by telephone. “[Yam Yet] has made some mistakes that I can’t tell [about],” he said.
Yam Yet, however, said that he was unaware of the suspension prior to speaking to a reporter on Sunday afternoon. He said the suspension might involve his decision to drop charges against a suspected robber targeted for re-arrest in Hun Sen’s crackdown on corruption in the judiciary.
He said the suspect, whom he declined to name, was not involved in any crime, but the General Prosecution Department had ordered him to be recharged.
“The suspect has not even been released yet and I don’t understand [the suspension],” Yam Yet said.
“If they say I am wrong, I don’t have anything to complain about… [but] I have the right to decide because I am the judge.”
Yam Yet’s case will be sent to the Supreme Council of Magistracy, Tuot Lux said.
Justice Minister, Ang Vong Vathana could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Yam Yet was appointed earlier this year to lead the investigation into allegations of corruption against four Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials. Last month the Supreme Council of Magistracy suspended for one year Judge Ham Mengse, Deputy Prosecutor Khut Sopheang and Judge Hing Thirith. Phnom Penh deputy prosecutor Siem Sok Aun was fired, while Ouk Savuth, chief prosecutor, was given a warning.