Corruption czar Om Yentieng said on Wednesday that he might still open an investigation into graft allegations against the head of the National Police’s public order department, which oversees the nation’s traffic officers, if the subordinates who made the claims were unsatisfied with their boss’s rebuttal.
In what has become a common practice for the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), it recently posted allegations of embezzlement, favoritism and abuse of power against Lieutenant General Run Rathveasna, the public order department’s director, to its website without identifying his accusers. It summarized the director’s point-by-point denials in the same post but did not say whether an investigation had or would be opened.
A police officer directs traffic on Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)In a July 12 letter to Lt. Gen. Rathveasna published online by the National Police on Wednesday, Mr. Yentieng, the ACU chairman, thanked the director for his response to the allegations and instructed him to post it around his office “to finish the preliminary procedure.”
Mr. Yentieng could not be reached for comment about the case on Tuesday.
Contacted on Wednesday, he said the future of the case would depend on whether Lt. Gen. Rathveasna’s rebuttal appeased his accusers.
“I asked Run Rathveasna to post his explanation inside his department,” he said. “I will wait to see the reaction, because the investigation does not depend on me; it depends on the results of the explanation.”
Lt. Gen. Rathveasna could not be reached on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he professed his innocence but declined to elaborate on the explanation he provided to the ACU.
His subordinates accuse him of pocketing state revenue from various sources, including overtime pay and fines collected from motorists, according to the ACU.
Seventy percent of those fines, it said, are supposed to go back to the traffic police who issue them.
In his defense, Lt. Gen. Rathveasna said all of the money he is accused of embezzling was put back into the department’s operating budget and that some officers had not received their overtime pay because they had not yet filled out the necessary paperwork, according to the ACU.
pheap@cambodiadaily.com
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