Court Officials Shuffled To Prevent Corruption, Bias

The Supreme Council of Magis­tracy decided Monday to transfer 20 of the country’s judges and prosecutors in accordance with a scheduled rotation, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vath­ana said Tuesday.

The council ap­proved the decision during a two-hour meeting presided over by King Norodom Sihamoni on Mon­day at the Royal Palace, Ang Vong Vathana said.

In December 2005, the council implemented a policy of rotating judges and prosecutors every four years to prevent court officials from colluding with locals and eliminate bias.

“Our policy is like [it was] before,” said Ang Vong Vathana, referring to the 2005 rotation.

Ang Vong Vathana said that he could not remember all the names of the judges and prosecutors who would be moved. But he noted that Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s De­puty Prosecutor Ngeth Sarath and Judge Kong Seth will be mov­ed, respectively, to the Appeals Court and Kompong Speu Prov­incial Court.

During Monday’s meeting, the council also decided to pun­ish some judges for unspecified wrongdoings.

“Some judges will be punished—not by being removed but by having [the mistakes] inserted into their files,” Ang Vong Vathana said.

Ngeth Sarath said he was un­aware of his transfer, but said the royal decree confirming the move would be issued within two weeks.

He added that he had previously petitioned to work at the Appeals Court after eight years at the mun­icipal court, as the former was “near my house.”

Kong Seth said that he was also unaware of the council’s decision, adding that he did not oppose the prospect of working in Kompong Speu.


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