Interior Minister Sar Kheng has demoted a communal police chief in Kien Svay district, Kandal province, for breaching police discipline.
“Remove Colonel Hout Seiha from his position as Samrong Thom Township Police Chief and demote him to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel,” he said in a Jan. 5 prakas.
Last September, local media reported that the officer had accepted a bribe in exchange for the release of three drug addicts.
According to reports, on July 30 last year, Seiha arrested three drug suspects in the commune’s Prek Takeo village, but later agreed to release them at the request of their parents, in exchange for a bribe. $3,500 wine bottle.
Following the report, Provincial Police Chief Chhoeun Socheat assigned an official to investigate, who found that Seiha had implemented “the wrong procedure”. He disciplined Seiha by assigning her to an administrative position in the provincial police, and her case was reported to the national police for further action.
Am Sam Ath, deputy director of human rights group Licadho, said it should be further investigated as a corruption case. The release of suspects is an example of misconduct and an illegal act under the law, he added.
“I think the demotion and removal from his post is in line with National Police rules, but it should be the subject of a criminal investigation. If this officer took a bribe to free suspects, then he should be charged, as an example for other corrupt officials,” he said.