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Top Human Rights Group Faces Corruption Lawsuit

Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) shows no sign of settlement with its former employees, who have filed a lawsuit against Kem Sokha, president of CCHR, after they were fired from their jobs.

The former employees accused Kem Sokha of corruption and preferential treatment.

According to reports, the plaintiffs say they have evidence to prove that Kem Sokha has pocketed money from the organization, and accused him of hiring friends and relatives to key financial positions in the organization.

Dr. Chhim Phal Virun, legal representative of CCHR's former employees, confirms to VOA that the case will not be settled out of court and says, “there will be no compromise, because it’s a criminal lawsuit”.

Meanwhile, Kem Sokha denies any wrongdoing and told reporters that, “the U.S. based International Republican Institute (IRI) audits our organization every year, and [CCHR] has never been found guilty of any illegal activities”.

Pa Nguon Teang, executive director of CCHR, defended his boss against the allegations saying, “Kem Sokha has always served the Cambodian people, even after his arrest last year for criticizing the government on border issues.”

The Phnom Penh court official document states that Kem Sokha is due to be in court on November 24, to answer charges against him. But Phnom Penh court deputy prosecutor Kry Song says that Kem Sokha's lawyer has requested the court to reschedule the hearing, due to schedule conflicts. He added: “the court will reschedule this time, however, Kem Sokha cannot continue to delay the hearing date”.

CCHR was founded in 2002 and is funded by the U.S.-based International Republican Institute.