MORE than four months after this arrest on charges of debauchery and rape, Siem Reap
hotelier Rudolph Knuckel is optimistic that his name will eventually be cleared and
that he will be able to reopen his Swiss Center D'Angkor.
In an interview with the Post on June 2, Knuckel expressed confidence that the charges
brought against him after his Jan 26 arrest in the company of two scantily-clad teenage
boys will eventually be dismissed.
"The truth will come out," the robust-looking Knuckel said at his home
in Siem Reap, where he's been convalescing since March from a suspected heart ailment.
"The plot [against me] is starting to come to light."
Knuckel's health problems, however, remain "undiagnosed".
"They don't have the facilities or the expertise here to tell me what's wrong
with me," he explained, rejecting suggestions that he was feigning illness in
order to be released from prison. "I had a similar [heart] problem two years
Since his release from prison in March, Knuckel says he has uncovered evidence that
he was framed by a team of three freelance journalists - two Europeans and one Canadian
- who were present during his arrest.
"I've engaged investigators of my own who are investigating the movements of
these journalists during their stay in Cambodia," Knuckel said. "I'm employing
investigators in Europe as well."
Knuckel indicated that future legal action against the three journalists remained
a possibility in spite of his doubts that a successful suit would pay any worthwhile
"The trouble with these freelance journalists who hang around Thailand is that
when you shake them, there's no money," he said.
As he awaits the June 21 Supreme Court hearing on his application for bail, Knuckel
expressed gratitude for the "strong, continuing support" he's received
from the people of Siem Reap.
"Political people visit me every day," he said. "The people who knew
me in the old days, when there was fighting and Khmer Rouge around Siem Reap, they
haven't forgotten me."
That support has convinced Knuckel to remain in Siem Reap after what he feels will
be his inevitable acquittal.
"I'm going to stay in Siem Reap," Knuckel insisted. "I've been here
for ten years and will see this through to the end."
Tan Senarong, the investigating judge in Knuckel's case, was equally confident that
Knuckel would remain in Siem Reap, but in considerably less salubrious circumstances.
"I'm confident that after [Knuckel's] June 21 bail hearing, he'll be going back
to jail," Senarong said."