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Charges due in abuse case

The case against a tycoon and his wife – accused of holding two girls captive as domestic servants and abusing them for nearly a decade – was sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday, anti-trafficking NGO SISHA said yesterday.

SISHA’s lawyers did not yet know the formal charges against Veng Lyphytech and his wife, Ly Pov, but both are expected to face charges in proceedings scheduled to begin next week, said SISHA communications officer Gratianne Quade.

It looks unlikely, however, that Pov will be present for proceedings. After news surfaced in late February of the escape of 17-year-old Kuthea and Phally from alleged daily beatings and torture by Pov, the tycoon’s wife fled, escaping arrest.

“Her whereabouts are still unknown,” said Quade.  

Kuthea’s aunt, Van Kol, said she was very happy that the case had been sent to court.

“I hope the court will give justice to my niece and the other victim,” she said.

“Now my niece is recovering in SISHA’s centre in Battambang. She is being educated and trained in hair salon work and tailoring. I hope they are well and will have a good job after the training.”

Kol has said it was she who initially brought her niece to work as a maid in Phnom Penh but that she did not know the abuse Kuthea would face there.

Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department director Pol Pitey and Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth could not be reached for comment.

Chiv Pally, deputy director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Department, said he did know about the case.

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