A ruling party parliamentarian has lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Justice over alleged impropriety by a clerk of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in a $1 million business complaint.
According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Chea Chamroeun alleges that court clerk Hong Bun Huor sought to act as a middleman for a defendant in a complaint filed through the court.
Hong Bun Huor has denied the allegations and has already appeared before the Ministry of Justice’s inspectorate, which is now awaiting further evidence from the lawmaker.
According to the complaint, Hong Bun Huor sought to act as an intermediary for Ung Rithea, a Phnom Penh businesswoman that Chea Chamroeun sued last month for $1 million.
Ung Rithea is currently in jail and awaiting trial of fraud charges related to the case.
However, Chea Chamroeun claims that prior to her arrest and before the complaint moved to the prosecutor’s office, Hong Bun Huor proposed that he accept a lesser, undisclosed amount or face problems moving his case through the court, according to the complaint.
Reached by VOA Khmer Tuesday, Chea Chamroeun declined to discuss the case in detail, but he did confirm filing the complaint.
“The case for Mr. Huor that I submitted to the Justice Ministry is to scrutinize his discipline as a clerk, [because he] works as a lawyer but in some work acts as a negotiator also,” Chea Chamroeun said. “So it’s unlawful.”
Hong Bun Huor was not immediately available for comment, but a justice official told VOA Khmer he has already appeared before the ministry’s inspector general and denied the claims.
“There is no evidence that would lead to disciplining the clerk, and the inspector general’s office will ask [Chea Chamroeun] to show evidence before the clerk can be reprimanded,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Cambodia’s courts have faced ongoing criticism for widespread corruption and political bias, even as the government has promised reform.