Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Girl, 3, 'stolen' from family

Girl, 3, 'stolen' from family

Girl, 3, 'stolen' from family

A woman accused of stealing a three-year-old girl from her parents defended herself at court yesterday by stating she loved the child “like a daughter” and had not intended to sell her.

Chhoun Lin, 33, appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday on charges of taking Cha Smin El from her mother, Mean Sarann, of Tuol Sangke commune, Russei Keo district, Phnom Penh.

The woman was found with the girl near the Thai border in Banteay Meachey province’s Malai district in November, prosecutor Phlong Sophal said, two months after she was allegedly taken.

Mean Sarann, the girl’s mother, said at court yesterday that she had been friends with Chhoun Lin. She said she had allowed her daughter to stay with Chhoun Lin overnight in her commune on September 7, but the toddler was never returned.

“I knew that she liked my daughter very much.… I did not expect that she would take my daughter away from me,” the mother said at court.

Defending herself, Chhoun Lin admitted to having brought the girl to Banteay Meanchey but stated that, in her opinion, she had not committed a crime.

“I loved her very much. I used also to take care of her when she was born and I loved her like my daughter,” she told the court.

“I did not inform her parent because I thought that if I told them, they would not agree it so I brought her with me.”

When questioned by the prosecutor and the judge over concerns that human trafficking could have played a part in the alleged crime, she denied any suggestions that such motives were involved.

Judge You Bunna, of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said yesterday that “taking other people’s children from their families is against the law and juvenile trafficking is also strictly banned in Cambodia.”

A verdict in the case is expected on May 11.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all