Tuesday, 27.11.2007: Kampuchea Thmey Reporter Finds that Corruption Exists from the Lowest to Higher Levels, after He Had Been Detained for Two Nights and Two Days

Posted on 28 November 2007. Filed under: Week 536 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 536


“Phnom Penh: Freedom is an important right of every person; justice and injustice are quite separate. An individuals who suffer much injustice cannot accept it, and then they have to resist in order to demand justice.

“An example of such injustice is what was done to a reporter of Kampuchea Thmey who had been detained for two nights and two days at the Daun Penh police station as a suspect, because a digital camera of another person had disappeared, and then the reporter was accused without any evidence, on the first day of Water Festival.

“Because of this accusation without evidence, which embarrassed the Kampuchea Thmey reporter and damaged his reputation, Kampuchea Thmey decided to sue back to demand compensation for the mental damage, though the reporter has already been released.

“Chan Thy, a Kampuchea Thmey reporter for the Preah Vihear province, had submitted an article to Kampuchea Thmey in Phnom Penh on 27 November 2007, the first day of the Water Festival. After submitting the article, he went to visit the Water Festival on his own.

“While he walked in the crowd like other people at 8 o’clock in the evening in front of the Royal Palace, a man named Chhun Kong was walking a motorcycle carrying a large basket with duck eggs in the same direction in the crowd. Then suddenly Chhun Kong grabbed Chan Thy’s shirt and pulled it until some shirt buttons tore off, and he accused Chan Thy of having taken a digital camera from his pocket. After a lengthy dispute among the crowd, the Kampuchea Thmey reporter decided to take the accuser to officials, in order to find a solution for this situation. However, when they arrived at an office at the Water Festival in Chaktomuk subdistrict, the police arrested the reporter. The officials did not ask for a clear reason for the accusation. Then they took the money out from the reporter’s pocket – $162 and Riel 450,000 [approx. US$110] – and said that they confiscated the money as evidence, because the accusation by Chhun Kong said that his camera had disappeared, but the camera was not found with the Kampuchea Thmey reporter.

“At that time the reporter was sent to the Daun Penh district police detention center for one night, just because of a suspicion without any evidence at all. As for the money which had been with him, it was confiscated by the police. In the morning of 24 November, the officials sent the Kampuchea Thmey reporter to the court.

“When he was sent to the court, documents were submitted to Deputy Prosecutor Kry Sok Y to be checked. But when he entered the deputy prosecutor’s room, the deputy prosecutor was not there, but two court clerks were waiting, and they looked at the documents quickly.

“First of all, the court clerks did not check the documents, but they started to check the money and to count it, to compare the amount with the police report. However, it was most disappointing that, while the amount of the money was correct, a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill was among it. It was a photocopy, and it was torn looking like an old one. Now the court clerks started to threaten him, ‘What do you think, now there are two offences – first, the suspicion of having stolen a camera, and second, here is a counterfeit dollar bill. If you don’t want to be on the list of having used a counterfeit dollar bill, get a real one to replace it.’ At that time, another reporter of Kampuchea Thmey, who had come to accompany the suspect, got a twenty-dollar bill from his pocket to replace the fake one at the demand of the court clerks. After using the twenty-dollar bill to replace it, the court clerk Kry Kim Khaon asked the Kampuchea Thmey reporter, ‘How much will you give us?’ The reporter said, ‘All that money belongs to my daughter who sent it to buy hairdressing equipment, so you should get only $50.’ The court clerk refused to accept it because it was too small an amount. The reporter said, ‘Then I give you $80.’ The court clerk still did not agree to accept it and said that it is not enough, and he told the reporter, ‘Give us the Riel 450,000 and everything is finished.’ But then the court clerk told the reporter to give him another $20 for the police, for the transportation of the reporter; and the reporter gave him another $20. Then the court clerks started to ask about this and that, they closed the documents, but they still sent the Kampuchea Thmey reporter to be detained.

”As for the counterfeit dollar bill that the Kampuchea Thmey reporter held, his money had been confiscated to be kept at the Daun Penh district police station, the money had been counted by the reporter and the police who wrote the report, and no counterfeit dollar bill had been found. The amount of $162 was all made up from newly-printed bills, no one was old, and no piece was torn. As for the Riel 450,000, this amount was correct. Why did an old counterfeit twenty-dollar bill appear when the amount was presented at the court? What does this act mean? The police who had written the report said that when they counted the money, the amount was correct, as the Kampuchea Thmey reporter confirmed. However, the police did not confirm that there was no counterfeit dollar bill, they just stated that when they counted, there was no old dollar bill. However, the issue of the counterfeit dollar bill is now being investigated by the Deputy Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner Pol Pithey. He promised that if any policeman is found to have really done a bad thing like that, he will fine or punish them.

“Mr. Pol Pithey told Kampuchea Thmey that he finds this issue to be very unfair to the journalist, and he does not support the actions taken against the journalist.

“He added that the policeman who put the counterfeit dollar bill in will be punished, and the policeman who got $20 from the journalist must give it back to him, and he does not support the court clerks who extorted Riel 450,000 from the journalist as well.

“Now the Kampuchea Thmey journalist is released, through a final decision by Mr. Chiv Keng, the president of Phnom Penh municipal court.

“Mr. Chiv Keng told Kampuchea Thmey that first, he did not know that a journalist of Kampuchea Thmey was detained like that, and he also did not know that the court clerks of Prosecutor Kry Sok Y got Riel 450,000 from the journalist. Mr. Chiv Keng said that he will not tolerate such extortion of money in the court. Mr. Chiv Keng stated that the Riel 450,000 must be given back to the journalists urgently.

“Separately, the Kampuchea Thmey staff member, who suffered this injustice, decided to sue Chhun Kong on the accusation of damaging his reputation and the name of Kampuchea Thmey, and he demands also legal compensation for the mental damages he suffered.

“Mr. Chhun Kong, male, 27, currently lives in House 30, Street 222, Khmuonh Subdistrict, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh; therefore, in order to restore their reputation, Kampuchea Thmey decided to sue him.

Kampuchea Thmey does not support impunity, but does whatever promotes justice and transparency in society. As for the journalist, he suffered like it has been described, but what about innocent citizens who do not know anyone to help them – how much would they suffer?” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1503, 27.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #20, 27-28.11.2007

  • Human Rights Party Tells Hun Sen to Reduce Gasoline Supplies to Parliamentarians, Senators, and Members of Government [in order to reduce gasoline price]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1503, 27.11.2007

  • Impertinent Man Forges Seal Stamps and Signatures of Top Leaders of the Nation
  • Bodies of [five] Singaporean Nationals [boat racers who drowned] Sent to Singapore after Buddhist Ceremony at Calmette Hospital
  • Kampuchea Thmey Reporter Finds that Corruption Exists from the Lowest to Higher Levels, after He Had Been Detained for Two Nights and Two Days
  • Man Rapes His [12-year-old] Stepdaughter and Threatens to Kill Her [he is arrested – Sampov Lun, Battambang]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #59, 27.11.2007

  • Secretary-General of Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats [Nereus Acosta] Is Confident that Sam Rainsy Party Will Win over Dictators in Cambodia [in 2008 Election]
  • Deaths of Singaporean Boat Racers Caused by Habit of Khmer Government of Looking Down on People’s Lives

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6203, 27.11.2007

  • Woman Chops Her Husband to Death [in domestic violence – she escapes – Kandal Stung, Kandal]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3322, 27.11.2007

  • Chief Forger of Seal Stamps and Signatures of Heng Samrin and Sok An, Allowing 17,009 Hectares of Land for Construction of Airport in Siem Reap, Is Arrested

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4447, 27.11.2007

  • New Burmese Prime Minister [Thein Sein] Will Visit Cambodia Soon
  • Vietnam Tries 26 Teachers and Educational Officials [on accusation of receiving bribes from students in exchange for helping them to pass exams]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3193, 27.11.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Bets His Life, if Kem Sokha [president of Human Rights Party] and Sam Rainsy [president of Sam Rainsy Party] Win over Cambodian People’s Party [in 2008 Election]
  • Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights Calls for End of Using Violence Countrywide for Evicting People

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #560, 27.11.2007

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King] Will Leave for Medical Treatment in Beijing [on 28 November]
  • Authorities [biased toward ruling party] Prevent Sam Rainsy Party Signboard from Being Erected [Baribour, Kompong Chhnang]

Go to last week’s

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