Corruption at Ratanakkiri Court Stifles Verdict Implementation

A mother of a 6-year-old boy who was seriously injured after he was attacked by a dog has accused Ratanakkiri Provincial Court officials of not implementing a 2008 verdict that ordered the dog owner to pay her compensation, adding that the court failed to do so be­cause she could not pay a requested bribe.

Chea Srey, a villager from Rat­anakkiri province’s Banlung City, said yesterday that she had been waiting in vain for the court to im­plement a verdict from Aug 29, 2008, which ordered offender Keo Phan to pay her $5,000 in compensation and medical bills for the treatment of her son.

“It’s been three years that the court has failed to carry out the verdict,” Ms Srey said, adding that she had filed official complaint with court over its lack of action.

She said she had on numerous oc­casions urged court officials to help her get the payment from Mr Phan. But according to Ms Srey, officials told her they could not work on her case “because you always come without money.”

Official documents from the verdict, signed by Judge Ya Narin, state that Mr Phan was found guilty of failing to control his animal after it attacked Ms Srey’s then 3-year-old son in an public area, causing serious injuries and leaving him partially blind in one eye.

Provincial Court clerk Prak So­eurn confirmed the court had heard the case, but could said he could not remember the verdict. He denied that court officials asked for bribes.

“No court officials demand mon­ey from parties involved to carry out court verdicts,” he said.

Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said he helped Ms Srey submit her complaint.

Mr Thy said the case represented widespread behavior among court officials of neglecting to seek justice for poor plaintiffs when they could not pay the unofficial fees officials desired.

“We have noticed that implementation of laws by court officials is still biased and justice is never offered to the poor,” he said.

 

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