Court Clerk Arrested in Alleged Bribery Case

The Anti-Corruption Unit arrested a Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court clerk on Sunday for allegedly demanding thousands of dollars in bribes to process standard paperwork, but no charges had been filed as of on Tuesday.

Hang Samoeun was arrested in a hotel room where he had arranged to meet his latest victim, according to a statement the ACU posted to its Facebook page on Tuesday.

Mr. Samoeun “used the power and position given to him by law to demand money from the victims without any fear,” in exchange for issuing official documentation of court decisions, it said.

“When the victims’ court verdicts were issued and they needed to ask for verification, Hang Samoeun, as court clerk in charge of the cases, would delay time and again and demand bribes to fulfill his duty,” the ACU said.

It said Mr. Samoeun had collected a total of $3,500 from an unspecified number of victims since December, but had attempted to collect as much as $40,000 as well as donations of land and motor vehicles.

The ACU said he previously worked as a court clerk in Koh Kong province and Phnom Penh and that it was recommending a charge of misappropriation of public funds, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

ACU Chairman Om Yentieng said the clerk was questioned in Phnom Penh for two days and sent back to the Banteay Meanchey court on Tuesday.

Mr. Yentieng declined to comment further.

Provincial court deputy prosecutor Sok Keobandith said Mr. Samoeun was still being questioned by the court and had yet to be charged as of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Cambodia’s court clerks are often arrested for demanding bribes and overstepping their official duties. A Supreme Court clerk was convicted on corruption charges in December for demanding thousands of dollars to influence a pending ruling.

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