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Groups Postpone Results of Corruption Survey

An umbrella group of rights organizations postponed a press conference to discuss corruption research Wednesday, in the wake of a row between the US and Cambodian governments.

The group, Pact Cambodia, was scheduled to present findings of a 2008 corruption survey, funded by USAID, Thursday. No new date was set.

The government held a press conference on Tuesday lambasting anti-corruption statements by US Ambassador Carol Rodley, who said in a speech last week the country loses $500 million annually to corruption.

The Report on Corruption Barometer Survey in Cambodia for 2008 was supported by Transparency International and funded by USAID.

No reason was given by organizers for the postponement, but the cancellation came just a day after senior government officials said Rodley’s remarks on corruption were one-sided and unsupported.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia absolutely refutes the politically motivated and unsubstantiated allegation made by the United States diplomat in contradiction of the good relations between Cambodia and the United States Government,” the government said in a letter to the US Embassy.

US officials have declined to comment on the government’s statement.

Nuth Youthy, a senior researcher for Pact Cambodia, declined to comment on the postponement of the report’s release.