Officials Guilty Of Extortion, Say Lawmakers

Two SRP lawmakers Monday filed a complaint with the Kom­pong Speu Provincial Court ag­ainst Prosecutor Kong Set and provincial police, accusing them of extorting money from three men arrested for allegedly stealing cows last month, according to one of the SRP lawmakers.

SRP lawmaker Nuth Rumduol said Monday by telephone that he and lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang complained to the Kom­pong Speu court, saying that clerks acting on Kong Set’s behalf attempted to extort money from three villagers from Chbar Mon district’s Kandorl Dom commune in exchange for their freedom.

“The court clerks extorted mon­ey and colluded with police,” Nuth Rumduol alleged, adding that the clerks and police allegedly attempted to extort $1,000 from each of the arrested villagers—Kim Dy, 22, Var Savuth, 22, and Mao Chetra, 14.

Nuth Rumduol also claimed that provincial police officers arrested the three men before receiving an arrest warrant from the court.

Last month, Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana called for Kong Set to be suspended from his position as prosecutor, following an investigation conducted by the ministry into allegations that he was involved in an illegal logging and an extortion racket.

Kong Set, who has denied the earlier accusations, said Monday that he was aware of the complaint by the SRP lawmakers, adding that the complaint should be taken up with his clerks and not him.

“I do my job according to the state’s law and I did not extort money,” Kong Set said. “I don’t care if my clerks extort the money from them because whoever ex­torted the money will be responsible,” he said.

“I have enough money,” he added.

Kompong Speu Provincial Police Chief Keo Pisey also denied the accusations against his officers, saying that police arrested the three men following a court order.

“This case is being handled by the court,” he said, before declining to comment further.



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