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Court Begins Probe of Justice Official

Phnom Penh Municipal Court began its probe into charges against a high-ranking member of the Ministry of Justice, alleged to have forged the prime minister’s signature in an attempt to secure the release from jail of a Russian tycoon.

A lawyer for Prum Piseth, who is head of the ministry’s administration office, confirmed the case had reached the court, but declined further comment.

Officials say Prum Piseth allegedly attempted to have Alexander Trofimov, who is fighting charges of sexually abusing underage girls, released from jail.

He was reported by Lt. Gen. Hing Bun Heang, chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.