Details Scarce on New ACU Investigations

Anticorruption and judicial officials have either declined to comment on, or say they are unaware of, the Anticorruption Unit’s investigations into officers at the Court of Appeal and Battambang Provincial Court.

Just over a week after ACU officials claimed their first scalp with the arrest of Pursat Provincial Court prosecutor Tob Chan Sereivuth on extortion charges, ACU Chairman Om Yentieng announced Thursday that new investigations had been opened in Battambang and at the Court of Appeal in Phnom Penh.

Officials at the two courts, however, say they are unaware of the investigations.

Battambang Provincial Court prosecutor Nuon San said he did not know if an investigation had been launched because he was not privy to the workings of the ACU, but added he was not expecting the ACU investigation to unearth any traces of corruption.

“We do not have any officials who have committed corruption in this institution. We do not worry about the planned investigation of the ACU, because we did not commit any wrongdoing under the law,” he said.

Judge You Bunleng, president of the Court of Appeal, said he too was unaware of any ACU investigation into staff at his court.

Judge Bunleng said he often had meetings with staff to educate them about the menace of corruption, but did not believe any court officials had acted improperly.

“The Court of Appeal does not have any corrupt officials,” he said, adding that court officials would be happy to cooperate with ACU officials if required.

National Council for Anticorruption spokesman Keo Remy declined to comment about ongoing investigations and referred questions to Mr Yentieng, who said he did not do telephone interviews.

National Council for Anticorruption Chairman Top Sam, who effectively oversees the ACU’s operations, said he too could not provide any further information on the two new cases.

“I cannot illustrate the case. I cannot tell a reporter about the action taken during the ACU’s investigation,” Mr Sam said.

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana could not be reached, while his cabinet chief, Sam Pracheameanith, said he was unaware of any investigations into the two courts.

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