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Court Officials Set for Four-Year Rotation

National judges and prosecutors will be rotated to new posts following a meeting of the Supreme Council of Magistracy Wednesday, part of reform efforts to reduce corruption.

“Every four years, or a little bit more, there needs to be a change to another place,” Justice Minister Ang Vongwatana said. “Those who are in the same place for a long time, they know all the people, the chief of the court knows all the people, knows the businessmen, and the businessmen know them.”

Friendships grow and make work difficult, he said. “So that’s why there is the principal that they should not stay in one place.”

Cambodia’s courts face continual criticism of political bias and corruption, and donors have pushed for reform, something court officials say they are working on.

No details were immediately available on changes at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, where many of the country’s key trials are held, but Ang Vongwatana said around four or five judges and prosecutors would be moved.

An observer close to the Supreme Council of Magistracy said Tuesday Phnom Penh court’s chief prosecutor, Ouk Savuth, would be moved to the Appeals Court, as deputy-general prosecutor, while his deputy, Yet Chakrya, would replace him.

Yet Chakrya was transferred from Banteay Meanchey provincial court and currently serves as a reserve prosecutor for the Khmer Rouge tribunal.