Jailed Pursat Prosecutor’s Cases To Be Reinvestigated

Three court cases previously handled by jailed former Pursat Provincial Court prosecutor Tob Chan Sereivuth will be reinvestigated, acting court prosecutor You Yinny said yesterday.

After a review of ten complaints that Mr Chan Sereivuth had failed to process during his tenure at Pursat Provincial Court, Mr Yinny said three had been identified as not being investigated properly.

“We reviewed the ten cases that [Mr Tob Chan Sereivuth] decided not to process, but we found that just three were not [handled] correctly,” Mr Yinny said, adding that the three cases all related to forestry crimes. “The court president will assign judges to reinvestigate [the cases].”

Mr Yinny added that more than 20 other cases Mr Chan Sereivuth had been involved with would continue through the court process, as plaintiffs were still being questioned.

Court president Judge Thong Ol could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Anticorruption Unit officials arrested Mr Chan Sereivuth, his brother-in-law Ros Samnang and his bodyguard Chhit Vuthy on Nov 29, marking the first major arrests made by the new graft-fighting body.

The three were charged the following day with corruption, illegal detention and extortion offenses and are still being detained at Pursat Provincial Prison. A fourth suspect, Mr Chan Sereivuth’s brother-in-law Pich Kong You, 34, remains at large.

ACU Chairman Om Yentieng has said that he expects more charges to be leveled against Mr Chan Sereivuth as further investigation is carried out into his behavior as a prosecutor in Pursat.

Nget Theavy, Pursat provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, yesterday welcomed the court’s decision to review the cases that Mr Chan Sereivuth had failed to process, saying it would “serve justice for the victims.”

“But it does not mean the ex-prosecutor has only acted with misconduct,” Ms Theavy said, adding that Mr Chan Sereivuth had acted professionally during the investigation of several child rape and rape and murder complaints brought to the court by Adhoc.

“[Mr Chan Sereivuth] acted fast and with accountability in the prosecution of [some] rapists,” she said. Ms Theavy added, however, that in other cases involving well-connected rape suspects, the former prosecutor had negotiated settlements for victims out of court.

 

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