ACU chief denies cosy ties with ex-judge

By: Vong Sokheng

Anti-corruption chief Om Yentieng has denied allegations that he had a close personal relationship with disgraced former Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Ang Maltey.

Maltey was sacked in February amid corruption allegations after he presided over the release on bail of murder suspect and tycoon Thong Sarath’s parents, who were awaiting trial on illegal weapons charges.

Court officials alleged after Maltey’s dismissal that he had a close relationship with Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) head Yentieng, who is leading the investigation into Maltey’s alleged corruption.

But the ACU chief yesterday dismissed the claims.

“I knew him [Maltey] . . . related to professional matters. But he was not my close friend and is not my relative,” he said.

On Friday, Yentieng told reporters that nine people had so far been questioned over the murder of tycoon Ung Meng Cheu, including Maltey and Sarath. Five of Sarath’s bodyguards were also arrested on murder charges after the brazen February shooting. Sarath was arrested in a joint operation with Vietnamese authorities on April 16.

Yentieng stressed that the ACU’s remit was only to investigate the “irregularities” that led to Sarath’s parents’ release from custody. The pair were caught near the Vietnamese border in an alleged attempt to flee.

“We have found a track record of bribery, but we want to find out more evidence of just how much money was paid, who took the money and who received the money,” Yentieng said. “It is still too soon to draw conclusions in the case of Maltey, because we still need more evidence.”

SOURCE: THE PHNOM PENH POST