The Wind Changes Its Direction: Chea Ratha Was Sentenced to Serve 18 Years in Prison – Saturday, 28.11.2009

Posted on 30 November 2009. Filed under: Week 640 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 640

“Phnom Penh: The Appeals Court of Cambodia issued a surprising decision, sentencing Ms. Chea Ratha [a former military police brigadier general, who had a lesbian relationship with actress In Soklida] for 18 years to jail for an acid attack against the aunt of the actress In Soklida, and also other accomplices are to be imprisoned. The decision made by the Appeals Court at this time is totally in contrast to the former decisions made by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to dismiss the accusations against the accused persons.

“The acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt had been brought for a hearing and judgment by the Appeals Court on 27 November 2009, with Mr. Seng Sivutha as the head of the council of judges, with Mr. Nhoung Thul and Mr. Thou Monei as members, and with Mr. Hean Rith as representative of the prosecutors.

“The judgment decided to uphold Decision 82, dated 31 August 2009, of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, but rejected Point 1, which is related to punishments for all who had been charged. The new decision of the Appeals Court exempts Meas Mao, male, 40; and Meas Chandy from the charge of illegal gun use, but sentenced them to serve 18 years in prison for violating the right of an individual, and for planned and attempted murder. Chea Ratha, female, 43, was removed from the charge of illegal use of a weapon, but she is convicted to serve 18 years in prison for planned and attempted murder. Ie Puthea, male, 33, and San Savuth, called San Sanut or Nut, 29, were freed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, but are to be imprisoned for 15 years for violating the right of an individual, and for collusion in a planed and attempted murder. Siek Sophal, male, was removed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, but is to be jailed for 15 years. Chan Dara, male, was removed from the charge of using a weapon illegally, of violating the right of an individual, and of collusion in an attempted murder, that means he is free from all accusations. All the six accused persons were ordered to pay to cover the cost of the medical treatment and to compensate the plaintiff with US$100,000, and an arrest warrant was issued to arrest those who escaped.

“It should be noted that the acid attack against Ms. In Soklida’s aunt occurred on 8 May 2008 in front of the RHAC Hospital on street 433, Tuol Tumpung 1, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh.

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court had sentenced to dismiss the accusations against all accused persons, but the plaintiff’s lawyer later appealed against this judgment, and there was also a complaint from the prosecutor of the Appeals Court dated 23 September 2009.

“The reason leading to this new judgment is that there was an acid attack against the victim Ya Sok Nim, Ms. In Soklida’s aunt, by two unidentified persons, who rode a 2008 Viva motorbike, and then stopped behind her to attack her with acid, and escaped.

“After the event, the victim’s husband lodged a complaint to the authorities to solve the case according to the law, but he could not identify the perpetrators’ faces.

“According to a note of the victim read by a clerk, a day ahead of the attack, bodyguards and Chea Ratha came to her house to ask for information about her niece (In Soklida), but she said that she did not know where she was. They asked to check in the house, but they still could not find her. Then they left.

“A few days later, Chea Ratha phoned to warn her, ‘If you do not deliver In Soklida, there will be bloodshed.’ This i was recorded, and her voice was played in the municipal court. Later on, the acid attack happened on 8 May 2008.

“Sok Chey, a person who witnessed the event, said he saw two men, whose faces he could not identify as they wore masks, but remembers their appearance, as they appeared behind the victim, attacked her with acid, and escaped.

“After that, police arrested two perpetrators, after showing their photos to the victim. The victim was sure that they were the perpetrators, bodyguards of Chea Ratha, as the victim had gone to the accused’s house [Mr. Chea Ratha’s house].

“After hearing the information and conclusions from the prosecutors, the Appeals Court took the decision as mentioned above.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5059, 28.11.2009


The Camboia Daily reported on Saturday/Sunday 28/29, November 2009:

“Mr. Ratha’s defense attorneys Keo Ya and Nach Try, who had lobbied Cabinet Minister Sok An ahead of the municipal court trial of Mr. Ratha seeking his intervention to have the case dropped, said they were unaware of their client’s whereabouts. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said on Thursday that the lawyer’s letter was not considered in any way by Mr. Sok An, as it was the work of the courts.”

“There was no report that the office of the Deputy Prime Minster rejected this attempt, requesting an illegal act of influencing the court.”

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #348, 28.11.2009

  • The Asian Development Bank Provides a US$10 Million Loan to Cambodia to Counter the Impacts of the Economic Crisis
  • Cambodia Has a Family Counseling and Strengthening Center Called “Mlub Kruasa Center [“Family Shade” – in Phnom Penh, assisted by the French government]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2110, 28.11.2009

  • [Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch Asked the Court to Release Him [he said so during the last hearing of Case 001 on 27.11.2009 at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal]
  • Because Somebody Just Looked Straight at His Face, Man Drew a Gun and Shot to Kill Another Man among the Crowd [the victim was injured while the perpetrator was arrested – Phnom Penh]
  • A Ghanaian Man Was Arrested after His Girlfriend Reported that He Was Involved in Cross Border Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #541, 28.11.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asked [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Send the Border Demarcation Document with Yuon [Vietnam] to the National Assembly

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6817, 28-29.11.2009

  • A Loan from Thailand Was Canceled, but Government Officials Said that Cambodia Has Sufficient Resources to Improve the 117 km of Road 68 [spending about US$41 million without the Thai loan -the Road 68 goes from Kralanh district in Siem Reap to Ou Smach and Samrong districts in Oddar Meanchey]
  • Nineteen Companies Received Economic Concession Land of More Than 80,000 Hectares, where Some Companies Are Having Disputes with Citizens [according to a report of the forestry authorities in Kompong Thom]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5059, 28.11.2009

  • The Wind Changes Its Direction: Chea Ratha Was Sentenced to Serve 18 Years in Prison
  • In 2010 the State Starts to Collect Tax from House Owners [at 0.1% of a the value of a house]
  • The Sihanoukville Port Announced the Start the Construction of a Special Economic Zone [on 70 hectares of land]
  • Two Girls Who, They Are Aunt and Niece [to each other, 6 and 7 years old] Were Raped by a 14-Year-Old Boy [the teenage boy was arrested – Banteay Meanchey]
  • [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Kasit Piromya: Thailand Will Not Negotiate with Cambodia as Long as [Thai fugitive ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Is Still Advisor [of the Cambodian government and of Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • A Suspect Involved in the Massacre in the Philippines Was Charged

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Saturday, 31.5.2008: The Condition of Prisons in Cambodia Remains Difficult

Posted on 1 June 2008. Filed under: Week 562 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia has twenty four provinces and municipalities, but there are twenty five prisons countrywide. According to observations and research conducted by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – on prisoners of eighteen prisons in 2008, prisoners in Cambodia still face many difficulties, and the prisons have not yet reached the standards set.

“The director of LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru] told Khmer Sthapana that, according to their research, conducted four times a month on prisoners in eighteen prisons from among the 20 prisons, the conditions of prisons in Cambodia are still very difficult.

“Difficulties exist because prisons are very narrow and old, the roofs leak, such as in the prisons in Takeo and in Kompong Thom. The number of prisoners increased, but the prisons have not been increased, so that in some rooms up to thirty or forty prisoners are together, making each room very crowded and hot, and the electricity is often cut; this affects their health – if any of them has a disease, the others are infected, and sometimes there was violence among them.

“Another major problem is food; the state provided only Riel 1,000 [approx. US$0.26] per prisoner per day, which is now increased to Riel 1,500 [approx. US$0.39]. Still, this is not enough to cover the expenses, because the prices of all goods increased, and food is also expensive, making food supplies in prisons to be a problem.

“Another important issue is the shortage of medicines; sometimes there were not enough medicines and sometimes prisons lack medicines and doctors, because there is no money; and when a prisoner fell seriously ill and needed to be referred to a hospital, sometimes, there was no fuel to run the car. The basic problem is funding.

“According to the Prison Conditions in Cambodia 2007 report of LICADHO, observing eighteen prisons from 1999 to 2006, the number of prisoners continually increased. In 1999, there were 3,282 prisoners; in 2002 there were 5,302 prisoners; in 2003 there were 5,711 prisoners; in 2004, there were 6,296 prisoners; in 2005, there were 8,238 prisoners; and in 2006, there were 8,835 prisoners.

“Separately, by April 2008, the number of prisoners had climbed up to 9,315 in total, among them there were 579 minors – among them were fourteen little girls – and 8,736 adult prisoners, of whom 546 were women (this is the figure of the prisoners of the eighteen prisons observed and researched by LICADHO).

“Dr. Pong Chiv Kek continued that the numbers of prisoners steadily grows, but we do not know whether this is because the actions of the police become more efficient, or because the number of crimes increases. She said she does not have statistic about the prisoners who had been released and those who had entered the prisons, or of those who had been caught and then been released.

“However, some penalties are reduced three times per year, based on proposals by prison officials, after they have established that prisoners have corrected themselves. The first reduction of penalties is conducted on Khmer New Year, the second on Visakh Bochea Day, and the third at the Water Festival. On the other hand, according to Article 27 of the Constitution, the King has the right to grant amnesty.

“Regarding information that there were bribes paid by some prisoners’ families to prison officials in order that the officials include their children’s or relatives’ names into the list proposing to reduce heir penalty, Dr. Pong Chiv Kek said that LICADHO is not sure, because there is no concrete evidence. However, she acknowledged that she has heard such information, but there is no proof.

“A prison official said that the prison conditions are being improved and they are moving to more improvements, like now, a new prison is being constructed in Takhmao [Kandal]; though the government does not have enough funds, there are countries cooperating like Australia that helps repairing some buildings. Related to health care and the improvement of the prisons’ environment, prisoners are allowed to go out of their cells for one to two hours, and there is also education and short term skill training, such as sewing and reading books. Some prisons have been converted to become rehabilitation centers.

“Dr. Pong Chiv Kek supports the educational plans at the rehabilitation centers, for example, facilitating prisoners to go out of their cells to read books, to learn something in short training courses, or to sew something so that they do not feel bored, in order to improve their mental attitude to get rid of violence and other bad habits. She went on to say that the use of soft methods in guidance and education is better than using strong methods like hitting people, because violence will make them feel angry and they will want to take revenge after they are released, and will be worse than before.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #24, 31-3.5-6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 31 May 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1655, 31.5.2008

  • The Government Considers Corruption as a Social Disease [says Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, in charge of preventing corruption]
  • The US Will Provide Thirty One Big Trucks to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
  • Prices of Food in the World Will Continue to Increase until next Year [according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #166, 31.5.2008

  • Chea Ratha Admitted to have Been Ms. In Soklida’s Lesbian Partner for Three Years, but She Denied that She Was Related to the Violent Crime [of an acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt – she told a local FM radio station in Phnom Penh on 30 May 2008 from Thailand]
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Pushes the National Assembly to Summon [Prime Minister] Hun Sen to Be Questioned over the Nominations of Countless Advisors Which Wastes National Funds

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #24, 31.5.2008

  • Investment Rate in Cambodia Declines to Nearly 50% Early 2008 [according to a report of the Council for the Development of Cambodia]
  • The Condition of Prisons in Cambodia Remains Difficult
  • Child Sex Abuse Threatens Cambodian Children [according to reports from LICADHO]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3474, 31-1.5-6.2008

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [UNODC] Finds that All Kinds of Drug Crimes Dramatically Increase in Cambodia [link undated – probably August 2007]
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers in Uniform Could Enter Khmer Territory Easily [on 25 May 2008 at Bavet international market, Svay Rieng]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4603, 31.5.2008

  • The National Election Committee Announced the Result of Numbering the Parties on the Ballots

    1. Norodom Ranariddh Party
    2. Khmer Democratic Party
    3. League for Democracy Party
    4. Cambodian People’s Party
    5. Khmer Anti-Poverty Party
    6. Khmer Republican Party
    7. Sangkum Yutethor Party (the Just Society Party)
    8. Funcinpec
    9. Sam Rainsy Party
    10. Hang Dara Democratic Movement Party
    11. Human Rights Party]

  • There Are More Than 10,000 People Who Have AIDS in Cambodia [according to an announcement by officials of the National AIDS Authority of Cambodia]
  • Domestic Violence Reduces the Income of a Victimized Family by One Firth [Minister of Women’s Affairs Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi said in a press conference]
  • An Aid Donor from Japan Checked the Clearing of Mines to Restore Roads and Canals [in a region of Battambang – to open the way for the organization Good-Earth-Japan to implement their plan to help prevent flooding during the coming rainy season – pictures and Japanese text]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: The oil price spiral – special investments – and a comparison of the activities in Myanmar and in China

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Tuesday, 27.5.2008: Hun Sen Announced to Give Golden Handcuffs to Prince Norodom Ranariddh and to Invite Him to Prey Sar Prison

Posted on 28 May 2008. Filed under: Week 562 | Tags: , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562

“According to Article 46 of the Criminal Code, the lawsuit between Prince Ranariddh and the Funcinpec Secretary-General Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay, accusing the Prince of abusing the confidence, motivated Prince Ranariddh to flee the country to stay with the ‘phantom fox’ [his partner Uk Phalla, whom the Prime Minister calls so] with no courage to face the law.

“Although Mr. Hun Sen indirectly insulted a president of a party who is outside the country, without mentioning the name of Prince Ranariddh, Khmer citizens understand well that when Mr. Hun Sen talked about Princess Marie Ranariddh, Prince Ranariddh’s former wife, and when he warned to offer royal golden handcuffs, it was clearly understood that Mr. Hun Sen directly warned Prince Ranariddh, who escaped and is living in Malaysia with the ‘phantom fox,’ and he does not dare to return to the country. He and his followers accused Prime Minister Mr. Hun Sen of abusing the King’s right to grant a pardon to Prince Ranariddh.

“On the Morning of 26 May 2008, Mr. Hun Sen expressed his strong and direct reactions against Prince Ranariddh, who is the president of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, and who is living outside the country, ‘If you, all the Norodom Ranariddh Party officials, wonder, you can go to the Royal Palace to ask the King in which respect Hun Sen abused the King’s rights.’

“Mr. Hun Sen added that there is no one who rejects the King’s rights, but the King’s procedure must have their qualifications. Without mentioning any name, Mr. Hun Sen continued that previously they accused him of setting this or that condition in order that the Prince can return to the country.

“Mr. Hun Sen went on to say that previously, Prince Ranariddh had wanted the King to pardon him, because he has guilt – but now he announced also that he has no guilt. Mr. Hun Sen continued, ‘When did you have a guilt? When the court issued the verdict, you appealed – and because you appealed, the judgment did not became valid. Now the Appeals Court sentenced you and you appealed to the Supreme Court. So you claim that you are not guilty, but if you are not guilty, why did you ask the King to pardon you? Unless the Supreme Court has sentenced you… – but if you are guilty, you will be punished.’

“Mr. Hun Sen said that previously, when the Prince was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment over having a contract to import guns and dealing with the Khmer Rouge, ‘Hun Sen could spare him because it was my own case, but now this is not my case, I want to make this clear.’ Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘That party president and his officials, who accused Hun Sen of not recognizing the King’s rights, please tell me which points you refer to?’

“Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘This case has been delayed for a long time, because if I hit the older brother [Prince Ranariddh], it hurts his younger brother [the King], and if I hit the child [Prince Ranariddh], it hurts his father [the former King]. Some observers said that Mr. Hun Sen indirectly insulted and looked down on the Royal Family.

“Mr. Hun Sen added that arrangements for an amnesty were always made to be announced at the Khmer New Year, on Pchum Ben Day, or on the King’s Birthday, or the Father King’s, or the King’s Mother’s Birthdays; and the procedures for amnesties had been prepared by the Minister of Justice, together with clarifications by the heads of the prisons, to clarify that the prisoners had promised not to commit any crime again. Then they brought requests to the Ministry of Justice, the Minister will bring the clarifications about the prisoner’s promise to the Prime Minister. Finally, the Prime Minister will bring it to the King to be signed to grant an amnesty.

Article 27 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia says:
“The King shall have the right to grant partial or complete amnesty.”

“Mr. Hun Sen went on to say that the Prince claims that he has not any guilt; but then he said that I abused the King’s rights. Once he said it like this, once he said it like that – how can he be a person from the legal profession?

“Mr. Hun Sen warned, ‘I have asked [the Director General of the National Police] Mr. Hok Lundy to make handcuffs painted with golden color. If you are not guilty, why do you not return to the country? Nobody prohibits you. When you left, we did not force you, and if you come back, we will not care about you, so why do you not come when actually you are not guilty?’

“Mr. Hun Sen was very angry with the president of a certain party whose name was not mentioned, and he said that that party’s president’s officials in the country had also accused him of abusing the King’s rights…

“The US Ambassador, Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, had told journalists in Kompong Thom some days ago that Prince Ranariddh should return to the country to address and to finish his case legally at the court.

“However, people from the legal profession said that Prince Ranariddh has no courage to return and to face the court in Cambodia, because if he returns, the court will issue a warrant to detain him temporarily, to continue the inquest and to prevent him from escaping abroad again, even though the Supreme Court has not yet opened a hearing to decide whether Prince Ranariddh is guilty or not.

“Prince Ranariddh had been sued by Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhek Bun Chhay on the accusation of having abused the confidence over the sale of the Funcinpec headquarters at the base of the Chroy Chongva Bridge, and over putting of his name, to be the owner of the new headquarters at a Phnom Penh suburb.

“The Phnom Penh court had opened a hearing of Prince Ranariddh in absentia to serve eighteen months in prison, and ordered him to pay US$150,000 to Funcinpec, with Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay being the Funcinpec representative.

“Analysts said that if Prince Ranariddh does not dare to return to the country and to face the court, his party will lose the confidence and the supports from the citizens. And now, some officials who had followed him for many years, leave him.” Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #107, 27.5.2008

[Note: The translation of this article is slightly abbreviated while keeping the basic content intact]

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2780, 27.5.2008

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Ordered the Kandal Provincial Governor [Chhun Sirun on 23 May 2008] to Cancel a Land Title of the Phanimex Company in the Veal Sbov Commune [Kien Svay District – over a land dispute]

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #107, 27.5.2008

  • Hun Sen Announced to Give Golden Handcuffs to Prince Norodom Ranariddh and to Invite Him to Prey Sar Prison

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1651, 27.5.2008

  • Cambodia Canceled the Prohibitory Notice against Exporting Rice and Paddy Rice
  • Donor Countries Promise to Provide Aid of US$50 Million to Burma

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6355, 27.5.2008

  • Regarding an Attempt for “Change”, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Said: You Only Have the Right to Change through Voting [he said on 26 May 2008]
  • It Is about One Million Tonnes of Paddy Rice that Our Farmers Need to Export [says Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Land Disputes: Two Groups of People Protesting: One Group Is Walking towards Phnom Penh to Arrive at the Residence [of Prime Minister Hun Sen] in Takhmao, the Other Group Protests in Front of the Battambang Provincial Office
  • Workshop on How to Create Draft Laws for Drafters of Laws Held [on 22 May 2008 at Phnom Penh Hotel, sponsored by USAID]

Meatophum, Vol.52, #690, 26-31.5.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Will Not Lead the Government together with the Sam Rainsy Party! [said the Prime Minister on 21 May 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3470, 27.5.2008

  • Siem [Thailand] Is Happy that Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers Sok An Agreed to Only Include the Body of the Preah Vihear Temple [not the not yet demarkated area around the temple] to Be Listed as a World Heritage Site [after a three-sided meeting in Paris last week]
  • [Sam Rainsy Party president] Sam Rainsy: [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Is Wasting National Funds by Increasing the Number of Members of the National Assembly
  • Development Projects of Foreign Companies along Borders Might Affect Khmer Territory

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4599, 27.5.2008

  • Seven Parliamentarians from the Sam Rainsy Party [Mr. Mei Bunvithyea, Mr. Chab Rithy, Mr. Bean Thul, Mr. Heang Soriyak and Mr. Iem Chantha, six of them are from Kandal, and Mr. Nou Sovath, Phnom Penh parliamentarian] Left the Party While the President Mr. Sam Rainsy Returned [on 26 May 2008]
  • UN Secretary-General Hopes that Myanmar Will Keep Its Promise [to allow foreign relief groups to work in the destroyed areas]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3319, 27.5.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Continues to Call Those Who Had Left the Party to be Garbage and Calls the Cambodian People’s Party to Accept That Garbage

Have a look at last week’s editorial: The oil price spiral – special investments – and a comparison of the activities in Myanmar and in China

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