Teachers To Testify in K Thom Corruption Trial

Four Kompong Thom pro­vince teachers plan to testify next week in provincial court after ac­cusing school officials of having used them as pawns in a fraud that may have cost the country thousands of dollars.

“It is the first time that we could collect evidence of schoolmasters committing corruption,” Sun Thun, Kompong Thom Cambodi­an Independent Teachers’ Asso­ciation director said Tuesday.

The four teachers—Soeng Si­vutha, Ke Sopheap, Ke Seng Sith and Chuy Chinglang—accused Yin Bunrith and Yin Bun Huot, the principals of Stung Sen district’s two secondary schools, of forging the teachers’ signatures on documents requesting overtime fees. When the money came from the government, it went into the schoolmasters’ pockets ra­ther than to teachers, they said.

After accusing the principals at a June meeting, CITA officials were shocked that the schoolmasters admitted to the charges and said they had been using the teachers to steal money for more than three years, said Sim Kim­san, CITA’s Kompong Thom de­puty director. Kompong Thom school officials would not disclose the phone numbers of Yin Bun­rith or Yin Bun Huot Tuesday.

The day after the principals revealed their corrupt activities, CITA filed a complaint in provincial court. The provincial education department urged CITA to drop the lawsuit, saying the two principals confessed and transferred about $537 to the national budget, Sim Kimsan said.

Suo Kimtry, provincial education department director, did not answer phone calls Tuesday. Yin Tong Y, his deputy, declined to comment. CITA refused to drop the lawsuit and asked that the principals be removed, saying that the $537 is a fraction of the amount stolen, although the ex­act amount is unknown, Sim Kim­san said. Overtime payment va­ries according to the teacher’s work.

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