SRP lawmakers said Tuesday that they want a thorough government investigation into officials accused by environmental watchdog Global Witness of having sold off Cambodia’s oil and mining rights under a blanket of secrecy.
In a letter sent Feb 12 to Prime Minister Hun Sen and reiterated in a statement publicized Tuesday, SRP lawmakers called for an investigation and, if warranted, prosecution of all officials named in the 70-page Global Witness report “Country for Sale.”
“High-ranking officials who have overwhelmingly collected state properties were named by the Global Witness report, which stated their activities in stealing and destroying those properties,” read the letter, which was posted Tuesday on the SRP website.
“Until now there is no clarification involving the accusations. Lawmakers would like to request for the investigation into each case that was reported by Global Witness and for a briefing to the National Assembly,” the letter stated.
SRP President Sam Rainsy said Tuesday that Global Witness did Cambodia a favor by uncovering corruption, and that the government should not dismiss the group’s claims.
“We want the government to investigate the documents to see if any truth is within the report in order to respond to the allegations. The government must prosecute any government official involved with corruption,” he said in a telephone interview.
Council of Ministers Secretary of State Phay Siphan, who is also deputy director of the council’s fast response mechanism department, reiterated Tuesday that the council has already begun “rapid assessment” of the Global Witness report.
“We will send questions to those people whose names were mentioned in the report to respond to the allegations,” he said. “It will take some time [for the investigation]. There is no timetable.”