Sunday, 09 January 2011 20:55 Kim Yuthana and Chrann Chamroeun
Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Hun Hean has been removed from his post pending a corruption investigation, officials said Sunday, the latest in a series of graft probes targeting government officials.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said officials were in the process of investigating Hun Hean – no relation to Prime Minister Hun Sen – to determine whether he will face internal disciplinary measures or criminal charges.
“Our team is now investigating the allegations to determine whether or not he was involved with corruption,” Khieu Sopheak said. “We are not certain yet because we are still working on the case.”
Soam Sokheng, general director of the Banteay Meanchey provincial hall, said Sunday that Interior Minister Sar Kheng had signed an order on Friday removing Hun Hean and naming his deputy, Chan Kosal, as acting provincial police chief.
“I can’t say anything more about whether he was involved in corruption or not, but he has been transferred temporarily to work at the staff department of the Ministry of Interior pending further investigation,” he said.
Hun Hean denied Sunday that he had been involved in corruption, suggesting that his removal was engineered by a rival in the government.
“I’m not involved with corruption or administrative mistakes like the allegations say, but my removal may have been the result of trickery or jealousy in relation to my position, where I have worked for three years,” Hun Hean said.
The police chief added that he had willingly accepted his reassignment and was confident he would be cleared of all wrongdoing.
“I don’t feel disappointed about my removal because this is normal for public officials, but it did come very quickly and it surprised me, because what I wanted was to stay in my post forever,” Hun Hean said.
He added: “In my life, I have never been greedy and have always donated money to poor people to help them improve their lives.”