Ex-Officer Takes Grievance to Supreme Council of Magistracy

A 56-year-old former police officer has taken his grievance with a municipal court judge over a decision to approve a signboard obscuring his view of Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard to the country’s highest judicial body.

Meas Vong, the owner of a second-floor apartment in Chamkar Mon district’s Boeng Keng Kang 1 commune, submitted a letter to the Supreme Council of Magistracy—which is overseen by King Norodom Sihamoni and tasked with transferring or removing judges—last week alleging that Judge Leang Samnath violated the civil code in his handling of his complaint.

Construction workers erect a signboard earlier this year above VC Optics on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. (Meas Sophal)
Construction workers erect a signboard earlier this year above VC Optics on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. (Meas Sophal)

“I want the court to order the removal of the sign that has been erected in front of my wall,” Mr. Vong said Wednesday by telephone. “They should not use the law as a pretext to violate the rights of others.”

VC Optics, which built a sign on its Monivong Boulevard location in July, is owned by Chroek Sokhavy, the mother-in-law of Kandal provincial court deputy prosecutor Tep Monin. Mr. Vong is the father of Meas Sophal, a major general in the Interior Ministry.

The sign in question is white, more than a meter high and almost completely obscures the view of the shop’s upstairs neighbors.

Judge Samnath on Wednesday defended his decision to allow the sign to remain.

“I allowed the erection of the sign because there is nothing that violates the law,” he said.

Prak Mealy, chief of Boeng Keng Kang 1 commune, said local authorities had tried to resolve the feud over the sign, but to no avail.

“Commune and district authorities have tried their best to get them to compromise, but they will not agree,” she said.

Sam Pracheameanith, spokesman for the Supreme Council of Magistracy, said Wednesday that he could not recall the complaint, and therefore could not comment on whether any action would be taken against Judge Samnath.

Ms. Sokhavy could not be reached.

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