The Kompong Cham Provincial Court on Friday sentenced the chief of the Srei Santhor district social affairs office to five years in prison—two of them suspended—on charges of corruption and forgery, his lawyer said.
Man Yousreng, 41, was also fined six million riel (about $1,500), according to his lawyer, Kea Eav, after the court found him guilty of forging the thumbprints of retired teachers who were deprived of their pensions in March 2012 and of their monthly living bonus for the whole of 2010.
The Anti-Corruption Unit had conducted an investigation into the scheme and released its findings in November, leading to the charges.
“I think the verdict is reasonable for my client, but I want the court to release him on bail because he’s sick,” said Mr. Eav yesterday, noting that the 10 victims have already been repaid a total of about $750.
In a separate case, the ACU is reportedly investigating Siv Sokhorn, director of the Takeo department of education, for allegedly embezzling about $125,000.
Officials at the ACU could not be reached for comment, but Mr. Sokhorn said the anti-corruption body wrote to him asking him to respond to the accusations, which he denied.
“I would not do anything against the government, as I am a director,” Mr. Sokhorn explained.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said an audit carried out by his department earlier this year appeared to clear Mr. Sokhorn of the accusation.
“I sent auditors for a few times to audit the accused in Takeo province and I myself went there to audit [the department] too because I was having doubt about the complaints,” he said.
“After checking and discussing all the documents that were related to the accusations from an anonymous party, I have not found any evidence of corruption by the director of the provincial education department.”