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Lawyer: Man at Center of Judge's Bribery Charges in Jail Unfairly

The man accused of bribing former Appeals Court chief judge Ly Vuochleng is in jail unfairly, without evidence against him and without a confession, a Phnom Penh lawyer said Monday.

Accusations of bribery caused Ly Vuochleng her prestigious seat on the Appeals Court, but the man on the other end of the charges, Chhun Poch, is being detained unlawfully, attorney Kao Sopha said.

Offering a bribe is a minor offense and should not mean jail-time ahead of trial, he said, even if Chhun Poch had confessed, which he hasn't.

Ly Vuochleng's ouster from the Appeals Court led to the appointment of her replacement, You Bunleng, who is now at the center of a Khmer Rouge tribunal row.

You Bunleng has said he can fulfill both his role as a tribunal investigating judge and Appeals Court chief, but observers say this will be difficult.

UN rights envoy Yash Ghai said Monday the appointment of You Bunleng over Ly Vuochleng was unconstitutional and pointed to abuse of power by the executive branch, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen.