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Acquittal expected for Chea Ratha: attorney

A LAWYER representing former deputy chief of staff of the National Military Police Chea Ratha, who is suspected of involvement in an acid attack, said Thursday he expects his client will be exonerated by a Phnom Penh court in a verdict scheduled to be delivered on Monday.

Keo Ya said Phnom Penh Municipal Court should acquit Chea Ratha of charges stemming from the attack last year.

"I hope my client will be released on [Monday] because the court does not have enough proof against her," Keo Ya said.

"The prosecution has filed a complaint against her that only suspects her of involvement [in the incident]," he said, adding that Chea Ratha would likely return to Cambodia if the court ruled in her favour.

Keo Ya would not provide any information about Chea Ratha's current whereabouts.

Presiding Judge Din Sivuthy could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Chea Ratha is being tried in connection with an incident from May 2008 in which a Phnom Penh woman, Ya Soknim, was severely disfigured in an acid attack. Ya Soknim is the aunt of prominent beauty pageant contestant In Soklyda, who had a love affair with Chea Ratha.

Chea Ratha has admitted the love affair but denies any involvement in the acid attack.

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