Unit Presses Lawmaker Over Corruption Claims

The head of the Anti-Corruption Unit has asked opposition lawmaker Real Camerin to submit documents detailing his income and expenses to clear himself of allegations that he embezzled most of the $55,000 he raised to fund trips to inspect Cambodia’s border.

In a letter in July, the ACU said it had received three complaints against Mr. Camerin for taking the money for personal use. In a response last month, the lawmaker denied the accusations. 

Om Yentieng, chairman of the ACU, said this week that Mr. Camerin’s initial response was insufficient.

“I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the blurry clarification without any documents attached makes it hard to believe that Your Excellency is being honest,” Mr. Yentieng wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.

Mr. Yentieng went on to ask for a list of donors and how much they contributed along with a list of expenses and a balance sheet with supporting documentation.

The ACU chairman and his deputy could not be reached for comment.

Responding to claims from the opposition that its fundraising did not fall under the purview of the ACU, Mr. Yentieng said on August 11 that his unit was, in fact, the only body fit to conduct such an investigation.

“If this isn’t the jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Unit, then which institution’s jurisdiction is it?” Mr. Yentieng said at the time.In his letter responding to the ACU, Mr. Camerin denied personally spending the money he collected from donors.

“The alleged complaints are fictitious and were made to defame me,” he wrote, adding that he had collected a total of $20,750 from supporters overseas to cover the costs of his July 19 trip to the border along with some 2,500 fellow activists.

In the letter, dated August 13, he said the money was spent on vehicle rentals, flags, food, drinking water and other materials.

Mr. Camerin, who is currently in the U.S., could not be contacted Friday.

In an interview with Voice of Democracy on Thursday, Mr. Came­rin said he did not understand why the ACU was still investigating the case. He also asked the ACU to reveal the identities of the complainants and provide evidence of improper spending.

“The complaints were created for an ill purpose to defame my reputation,” he said. “I have nothing to worry about. Why would I need to worry if I’m innocent?”

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