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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brothel anger at prosecutor's out-of-court behaviour

Brothel anger at prosecutor's out-of-court behaviour

KOH KONG prosecutor Keo Sim faces legal problems of his own after being charged with

assaulting the owner of a local brothel.

Thoeng Sokun, 35, owner of the Delightful Guest House in Koh Kong province, claims

to have been beaten by the angry prosecutor on Sep 8 when he failed to find his mistress

present in the brothel.

"He is a lawyer. He works, eats, and sleeps on the law. He knows very well of

the right and the wrong. How easily he beat a woman. Where are my women's rights?,"

Sokun said angrily.

She said the problem began after Sim bought a woman from Sihanoukville for $400 and

kept her in the brothel, which is near the Koh Kong courthouse.

She said the easy access allowed Sim to visit during working hours. Sokun said eventually

the woman escaped because she could not bear Sim's bad treatment. She was often seen

with bruises and scars from his beatings brought on by jealousy.

"She often showed me her bruises. Sometimes she got bruised on her thighs, sometimes

on her back," Sokun said.

On a July 7 midnight visit, Sim discovered that the victim had disappeared from the

brothel. She was still in Koh Kong but was so scared of Sim she slept in a different

place every night so he could not find her, Sokun said.

Koy Phalla, representative of the human rights group Adhoc, said Sim appeared at

the brothel on July 8 in a highly agitated state and attempted to assault other brothel

employees. Sim slapped Sokun several times after she attempted to intervene, he said.

At the time, Sim warned Sokun not to file a complaint against him.

"He informed me that he would file a complaint against me if I filed one against

him," Sokun told the Post. "He said he would keep issuing [court] summonses

to me several times a day to disturb me [if I filed a complaint against him]."

Sokun said that Sim is notorious in Koh Kong for assaulting "uncooperative"

local brothel owners and prostitutes, who fear him due to his violent tendencies.

.

Sokun claims the prosecutor later tried to bribe her with 5000 Thai baht to convince

her to withdraw legal charges but she refused, insisting that Sim be dismissed.

"I don't want money. I want this bad prosecutor to be dismissed from his job,

otherwise he will use his power to beat people again," Sokun said.

Sun Soung, chief of Koh Kong court house, who received an order from the provincial

governor to process the case, called the case "petty crime". He also claimed

the owner had asked for 50,000 baht in "compensation" from Sim.

Soung explained that Sim's behavior was "personal" rather than "professional",

pointing out that Sim had assaulted Sokun outside of working hours.

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