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General charged for illegal gambling

A military general who was detained and tortured by his wife and children for nearly two months in 2011 was charged yesterday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with illegal gambling, police said.

Brigadier-General Nuon Pak was one of 11 suspects arrested in Toul Kork district on Tuesday for playing illegal Vietnamese lotteries and betting on soccer, district penal police officer Duong Seng said.

“He is a gambling addict,” Seng said.

“He was arrested while playing games along with 11 other people when police raided an illegal online gambling shop in Toul Kork district.”

Speaking to a reporter at court yesterday, Pak said he had started gambling due to family problems.

His wife and three sons were sentenced to between 7 and 8 years jail in 2012 for torturing and confining Pak at their home in order to force him to sell family property in Ratanakkiri and hand over the proceeds. As part of their torture, his family hit him with implements including sticks and a meat cleaver, and poured boiling water on his back.

All four were released in May 2013, however, after Pak recanted previous testimony and claimed he inflicted the wounds upon himself. Yesterday, Pak said that since his family was released from prison

they had remained estranged from him, causing him to be “heartbroken”. He said it was for this reason that he turned to gambling.

Pak faces up to one year in prison and a 500,000 riel ($125) fine if convicted.

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