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Lonely general begs for family’s freedom

120622_04

Brigadier General Nuon Pak shows the wounds inflicted on his body by his wife and children in December last year. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Nuon Pak is a lonely man these days – lonely enough that he’s fighting to reunite with the very family sent to jail for torturing him.

So far, it’s been a losing battle for the RCAF brigadier general, whose wife and three sons were convicted of detaining, beating and torturing him over the course of nearly two months late last year.

At their sentencing in March, the general, a military adviser at the Ministry of National Defence, begged for leniency and threatened to kill himself as his wife and sons were handed seven and eight year sentences by Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Now he’s taking his plea to the Appeal Court.

“I have already withdrawn my criminal lawsuit against my beloved wife and sons ... But so far, the courts had not considered my request,” he said. “I am now feeling very lonely, very disappointed and hopeless with the courts’ decisions,” he added.

General Nuon Pak’s beloved wife, 42-year-old Ngin Chantrea Devi, and his three sons, Panh Sihana, 25, Panh Dararith, 23, and Panh An An, 20, were convicted of tying the general up in his own home and beating him with a variety of implements, including sticks and a meat cleaver, in a bid to force him to sell family property worth US$80,000 and turn over the proceeds.

Yesterday, he told the Post that while the charges against his family were true, it amounted to a family misunderstanding. He even blamed himself to a degree.

“I acknowledged that I also had a mistake in his case. Because as a husband and father, I had not fulfilled my duty well in making or providing money to support them,” he said.

However, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Seng Neang said that while a civil complaint can be extinguished by the plaintiff under the Cambodian Penal Code, the criminal charges cannot.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at kongkea.buthreaksmey@phnompenhpost.com

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