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Beaten general forgives family

120314_05

A royal Cambodian Armed Forces brigadier general who was savagely beaten and tortured last year yesterday urged a court to drop charges against his alleged attackers – his wife and three sons –
because he was no longer angry with them.

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In testimony that contradicted the defendant’s claims of innocence, Brigadier General Nuon Pak, 52, said he had forgiven his family members for beating and torturing him and asked the Phnom Penh municipal court to free them.

“I recognise that my wife and sons were arrested and jailed based only on my statement to police. Now I have stopped being angry with them and ended this rancour. I would like to ask the court to free them so our family can reunite,” Brigadier General Nuon Pak, a Ministry of National Defence military adviser, said.

Presiding judge Oeung Seang said Ngin Chantrea Devi, 42, and her three sons, Panh Sihana, 25; Panh Dararith, 23; and Panh Anh, 20; were apprehended in Phnom Penh last year.

“Ngin Chantrea Devi is charged with cruelty and torturing, and her three sons are charged as being accomplices,” he said.

Police arrested them on December 10 based on the brigadier general’s complaint they had been detaining, beating and torturing him so he would sell his US$80,000 property in Ratanakkiri province and give them the money.  

Ngin Chantrea Devi denied the charges.

“The wounds on my husband’s body had been there a long time. I have never beaten or tortured him,” she said.

Panh Sihana said money problems had caused conflict between his parents.

“But I did not beat or torture my father as accused,” he said.

Meat, rope, chopsticks and sticks confiscated from the family’s home had not been used to torture his father, Panh Sihana said.

Prosecutor Top Chhunlong said he would like to maintain the charges despite Nuon Pak’s wish for a peaceful reunion.

Verdicts will be handed down on March 26.

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