A Cambodian government official has been attacked for comparing lawyers to cows and now faces court action.
The comments were reportedly made by an officer in the Finance Ministry’s tax department following a government tax seminar for lawyers which was attended by several hundred from the legal fraternity. Things got heated during the seminar on the issue of lawyers paying tax and degenerated into a verbal spat.
The lawyers claimed Vann Puthipol, deputy director-general of the taxation department, wrote in a post on Facebook that he had been assigned to herd a group of cows back into their stable and said:‘Those cows wanted to kick me. Let me ask you all, should those three have their noses pierced with a ring and be hit with a cattle prod?’The reference to three comes from a remark where he said most were well behaved but three ‘cows’ caused difficulty.
After lawyers attacked the post, Mr Puthipol claimed it was a misunderstanding and was not, in fact, about lawyers but rather about colleagues. A complaint has been filed with the court as a result of comparing the lawyers to animals. If convicted of insulting lawyers Mr Puthipol could be fined up to $2,500.