A fisherman who survived a deadly collision after his boat smashed into a towboat off the south coast earlier this year filed a complaint Tuesday with the Anti-Corruption Unit, accusing a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge and his clerk of corruption after the judge allowed the owner of the towboat to leave prison after paying $10,000.
“I filed a complaint against Min Makara, judge of Koh Kong Provincial Court…Soeun Sea, the court’s clerk; and Cheng Monirith, lawyer of the defendant, for corruption,” Chuon Meng, 52, said Thursday.
“My boat was destroyed and I can’t do any work. I want $30,000 compensation.”
In January, Mr. Meng was traveling on a boat with four other men at night in the marine area between Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong province when their boat collided with a Thai-owned towboat.
Three men died, but Mr. Meng and another man survived.
The towboat did not stop, but was later detained by authorities and two Thai nationals, whose names were not released, were arrested. They were subsequently released without charge.
In his filing with the ACU, Mr. Meng alleges that Judge Makara allowed the owner of the towboat to leave jail and have his vessel returned after he paid $10,000.
Contacted Thursday, Judge Makara maintained that the $10,000 payment was part of the Thai national’s bail agreement.
“They just paid a bail at the court,” he said.
Mr. Meng said he spoke with the ACU on Tuesday.
“The staff at the Anti-Corruption Unit questioned me for about an hour. They said they would investigate the case,” he said.
Keo Remy, spokesman for the ACU, as well as Om Yentieng, chairman of the ACU, declined to comment on the case.