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Friday, December 08, 2006

Cambodia asks Finland to reconsider visa for convicted police chief

Cambodian deputy priminister Hor Namhong Thursday urged the Finish government to reconsider its decision to issue visa for former phnom penh police chief Heng Pov, who was sentenced to 18 years in jail in absentia in September for masterminding to kill a judge.

" We are very regrettable indeed that criminals who fabricated claims against the Royal Government of Cambodia to masquerade their actual crimes have gain the protection from Finland," said Hor, who is also Minister foreign affiairs and international cooperation.

"therfore, in the future, it is futile to talk under variou framworks about cooperation to combat and prevent organized crimes, but instead we should talk about nurturing them," he said. This was the second times that the Finnish government allowed Cambodian criminals to stay and it should reconsider what it had done so far for Cambodia, he added.

"Once they arrived in Finland, these criminals will spread defamation against the Royal Government of Cambodia, just like the cases of Sok Yeoun and Heng Pov," he said. "We already sent a letter to foreign affairs of Finland, Malaysia's court and the Singaporean authorities about Heng Pov's crime, he added.

After his legal team negotiated with the Finnish government for two months and under went independent review, the 49 years old, one-legged former capital police chief recieved his visa entry to Finland, which significantly increased his chance avoiding deportation.

Hing Pov, also serving as persoal advisor to prime minister Hun Sen and under-secretary of state at interior ministry, managed to fled oversea in July 23, but fail to seek asylum in Singapore and Malaysia. he has been detained in Malaysia since Oct. 3 for overstaying his entry pass.

The Cambodian court believed that he was responsible for the murder of Phnom penh judge Sk Sathamony, while a press released from ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation insisted that he was involved in six other cases including illegal confinment, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and illegal weapon possession and usage.

In addition, So Yeoun, an active member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, was accused of staging rocket attack on the motorcade of Hun Sen when he attended the ceremony of the establishment of the first governemt of Cambodia in 1998, He then fled to Thailand and finally secure his stay in Finland. Read more!

Corruption crippling Cambodian tax system, minister says

dpa Germany Press Agency

Phnom penh - Rampant corruption in both the private and state sectors has made tax collectoin in some area virtually impossible, finance minister Keat Chhon said Tuesday. The minister dismissed opposition politicians's criticism that the government waas squandering tax revenues, saying the real problem was ften unable to collect them.

"At the moment some companies have two set of books. Some state institutions also have two set of books," Keat Chhon said, hinting that these may also be included some ministries.

"Two set of books mean corruption. The ( Cambodian) Auditor General researches, but then come back with no results. I think we should use penal law to investigate and punish those who do this," he said.

He also conceded that powerful interests were involved in area such as land-tax collection and that legal uses were used to disquise ownership.

International donors have called on the govrenment to make serious reforms of the county's tax system.

They have also demanded that rigorous anti-corruption legislation be enacted, but although priminister Hun Sen had promised that bill would be put before the national assembly by the end of 2006, he recently cited ongoing reform to penal law and other complications as a reason for delaying the measure. Read more!