Appeal Court clerk dismissed after ACU corruption detention

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tep Thirith was removed from his position on Thursday. The Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice dismissed an Appeal Court clerk after he was detained by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) for corruption.

Tep Thirith was removed from his position on Thursday, but the ministry cannot mention the offences he committed while he was on duty, a Ministry of Justice announcement said on the same day.

Thirith was removed from his position as he committed some mistakes which could not be forgiven, Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post.

“He made big mistakes related to rules during his duty. Therefore, the rules council of the ministry decided to dismiss him from the official position and also removed his name from the framework.

“However, we cannot reveal the specific mistakes he made in public since it is an internal affair,” Malin said.

Appeal Court spokesman Touch Tharith said declined to reveal the reasons why Thirith was removed from his position “because all the reasons have already been disseminated by the media outlets”.

“A lot of media outlets have already published the reasons after the ACU questioned Thirith,” said Tharith.

On July 5, the Appeal Court spokesman released a statement saying Thirith was removed as a court clerk on April 2.

The ACU detained Thirith over corruption offences on July 5 as he used his position as a court clerk to commit corrupt practices despite being removed from his position.

“Despite receiving instructions and advice from the general secretariat, judges, and the head of the Appeal Court, he still kept ignoring them.

“As a result, the Appeal Court decided to remove him from his official position. The court also wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice to order the rules council to punish Thirith in accordance with the law,” the announcement read.

After questioning, the ACU sent Thirith to the court for further questioning, after which the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged him with misappropriation and put him in pre-trial detention under court supervision.

The senior investigator at NGO Licadho, Am Sam Ath, said the court system would be negatively affected if officials committed corrupt offences during the judicial process.

He supported removing Thirith from the official from the government framework and strictly enforcing the law.

“Civil society, international communities, and the US Commission on Civil Rights have urged Cambodia to reform the court system,” Sam Ath said.