Mr. Ky Tech Recognizes that there Is Corruption in the Courts, while the Minister of Justice Tells Judges to Control Clerks Well – Wednesday, 5.11.2008

Posted on 7 November 2008. Filed under: Week 585 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 585

“Recently, the former president of the Bar Association, Mr. Ky Tech, stated that those who prepare documents and have important roles in court processes are the root of different problems that frequently bring criticism for the courts in the country.

“Mr. Ky Tech said during an interview with journalists, ‘They make courts corrupt.’ The former president of the Bar Association added that they informally communicate with each other and make decisions on different cases unjustly. People involved in court cases pay money to those who prepare the documents to send their names to court officials who then make decisions supporting those people. Mr. Ky Tech continued that they prepare the documents for different cases, instead of letting lawyers do this. The law states that no one can work on a court case except a lawyer. However, it is known that those who prepare the documents take bribes for themselves. If lawyers take money, they will offer receipts. If they cheat, it is not difficult to find them.

In addition to Mr. Ky Tech, also the director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, recognized that there is corruption in the courts. It should be noted that at present at the courts, in addition to those who prepare documents who stand on different sides, also defense lawyers prepare documents. A certain lawyer had been sued by a victim – who had hired him to solve a case – at the Ministry of Interior, because he did not solve the case after receiving his payment. A certain other lawyer appeared to help a victim where more than US$100,000 were handed over, and also armed persons were involved in 2008.

Regarding the corruption accusations by the former president of the Bar Association and by the director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Judge Chiv Keng absolutely rejected this, saying, ‘There is no longer such corruption’ (Sic!). Not differently, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana, the Minister of Justice with the Ministry as an institution having authority to revoke and assign judges and prosecutors, requested evidence about any case to be reported to him for investigation. Nevertheless, no one dares to sue, related to corruption of bribe taking to finish cases in courts, because there is no law to protect them. It should be noted that besides corruption committed by those who prepare documents, there are also irregular cases where judges of different primary courts allow their clerks to find money for them through procedures which are against the law, it appears that clerks question accused and plaintiffs without the presence of judges. Regarding certain procedures which are against legal procedures, taken by judges and clerks, the fourth term Minister of Justice of the Royal Government said that judges must control their clerks well. However, Mr. Ang Vong Vathana said to reduce mistakes by judges, that judges and clerks are not wrong, if judges are absent between 10 to 15 minutes, when busy with other duties (Sic!). But if judges do not attend the hearings, it is wrong that clerks ask questions alone. It should be noted that clerks are court official appointed by the Ministry of Justice.

“Mr. Tep Darong, the president of the Royal Academy of Judicial Profession [source: ‘H.E Sok An Met with Guests” – Update : 07-10-08], said that recently, a special training course for clerks at the Royal Academy of Judicial Profession has just finished a six-month clerk training course for 81 students, and each of them was sworn in to take up their positions. He said they swore that they will do their work rightly, keep confidentiality, and do everything to maintain discipline. Mr. Tep Darong added that this 2-year-old special training courses have already trained 500 clerks from all over the country, who never before had received such training. Therefore, it is essential to train them about how to take notes and how to assist judges. Judges can not work alone. Lawyer Ny Chandy, who administers the Model Court Program at Legal Aid of Cambodia, said that training is welcome, but corruption will always happen, as long as salaries are still small. On the other hand, some people from the legal profession stated that the increase of salaries for court officials is not the only way to help eliminate corruption. Other ways include a reform of the council, and holding hearings to select judges, while not allowing any member of this institution to be a member of any political party, or to be a judge in a firm, as a condition to be allowed to participate in such hearings for positions. If a football player would also function as a referee, it would not be just. Another critical problem is that there must be an anti-corruption law as a basis for reference. It should be noted that the second step of the Rectangular Strategy of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen stressed that different reforms are necessary, in view of good governance, but how the implementation would work, would have to wait to be seen in the next five years.” Meatophum, Vol.52, #710, 5-8.11.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1786, 5.11.2008

  • High Ranking Officials of the Phnom Penh Municipality Say That Investment at the Boeng Pong Peay Lake [which covers 100 hectares in Russey Keo] Is Under the Competency of the Government [not of the municipality]
  • An American Rock Band, The Click Five, Will Come to Cambodia to Perform at Angkor Wat [next month, promoting the fight against human trafficking]
  • Three Bombs Exploded in Narathiwat Province in [southern] Thailand [where there is a Muslim majority and an insurgency], Killing One Person and Injuring 71

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #133, 5.11.2008

  • Cambodia Has to Meet the Deficiencies in Agriculture in Order to Become a Big Rice Exporting Company for the World [the government plans to spend US$400 million to build up irrigation systems to serve rice fields countrywide]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Rejects the Request to Release Khiev Samphan [a former Khmer Rouge leader from pre-trial detention]

Meatophum, Vol.52, #710, 5-8.11.2008

  • Mr. Ky Tech Recognizes that there Is Corruption in the Courts, while the Minister of Justice Tells Judges to Control Clerks Well

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1378, 5.11.2008

  • Woman Bringing Her Daughter to School Died, Hit by a Cement Mixing Truck [while her daughter was seriously injured, and the driver who drove the truck escaped – Srah Chak, Phnom Penh]
  • Worker Died from Falling from [the first floor] of a Building Constructing of CAMKO City [Tuol Sangkae, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4734, 16.11.2008

  • Cambodia and Vietnam Will Sign Agreement on Visa Exemption for Those Who Have Normal Passports [during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit in Vietnam]
  • Composition of the National Authority for Solving Land Disputes Is Reshuffled [former president of this department, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, is replaced by Mr. Bin Chhin, the ex-president of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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3 Responses to “Mr. Ky Tech Recognizes that there Is Corruption in the Courts, while the Minister of Justice Tells Judges to Control Clerks Well – Wednesday, 5.11.2008”

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Your work was stolen from me, Prak Chan Thul, a reporter at The Cambodia Daiyly, the interviews were done by me alone, not by journalists.

Dear Ms. or Mr. Prak Chan Thul,

first of all my appreciation that you read The Mirror – our modest contribution, since more than 10 years, to the development of a lively media world in Cambodia.

But your accusation is not justified in two respects. You might have found this out yourself, if you would have done some more careful reading before making your public accusation.

The goal of The Mirror is – as the name says and as it is also explained in the section “About the Mirror” – which you see in the upper part of every page – “to provide an overview of major issues appearing in Cambodian newspapers, and also to facilitate dialog between different positions, by mirroring a wide variety of information and opinion.” Over the years, we have received many expressions of appreciation from the media world for this service, which makes the Khmer printed press wider known among the English reading public. Several persons at The Cambodia Daily know our work well since many years.

Whatever we publish in The Mirror from Monday to Saturday had already been published, but is now translated – only the Sunday editorials are our own product. We clearly mark every source. You accuse us of stealing for translating something, something which had been published before in Khmer here: Meatophum, Vol.52, #710, 5-8.11.2008.

But you make a second mistake in your accusation, when you imply that we did not report correctly, when you say: “the interviews were done by me alone, not by journalists” – after we had printed: “Mr. Ky Tech said during an interview with journalists…” Why did we use the plural and not refer to one journalist only? Because the article in Meatophum said that the interview had been held “ជាមួយ​ក្រុម​អ្នក​រាយការណ៍​ពត៌មាន… – krub neak rieykarn pordamian – with a group of journalists.” We did not invent the plural in this sentence, it is in the Khmer original we translated.

Thanks for your attention – we hope this has clarified the situation.

Norbert Klein, Editor of The Mirror

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