Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit is obligated to investigate Prime Minister Hun Sen to ensure payments he made to reporters at privately owned, pro-government news outlets weren’t taken from the national budget, observers said Thursday.
In an audio recording of a phone call that went viral after it was leaked on social media last week, Hun Sen told CNC TV general director Ouk Bora that “my wife and I support all the staff” at the station, regularly providing them money “during special events.”
On Wednesday, the prime minister acknowledged in a speech to workers in Kandal province that he paid reporters at CNC TV and Bayon TV—a station owned by his daughter that broadcasts reports sympathetic to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)—because “it is important for the government,” and dismissed concerns over the source of the money, which he said was his own.
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