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Mother Vows to Take Revenge

The mother of a 19-year-old Cambodian woman who alleged she was raped by an UNTAC

official has vowed to take justice into her own hands after a U.N. panel ruled there

was insufficient evidence to make a conclusive finding on the case.

"I want to know how this kind of totally improper behavior can be allowed. If

nobody can find justice for me, I'll find it myself," she said without elaborating.

Since a United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) panel made its

ruling on the case on Nov 13 last year, the mother has made repeated calls for the

investigation to be reopened but without success.

"I'm very disappointed that it has already been five months and many letters

and still they have done nothing," said the mother who was also the landlady

where the man stayed.

"I do not want compensation but justice...I thought that UNTAC had big powers

, that they came to Cambodia to help us, but it is not so, they have done nothing

right," she said.

The original complaint was lodged on behalf of the daughter against a French employee

of the UNTAC provincial director.

In the complaint, the daughter said she was raped and after the rape, when the man

tried to escape from the room, she struggled, tore his shirt, scratched his fore-arm

and screamed.

When the ruckus attracted the attention of neighbors and the house hold, the man

began to throw some of her belongings out of the room and tried to break the lock

to the door so as to create a different impression in the minds of the onlookers,

she said.

In his account, the accused man said that the woman, who had been working as a maid,

asked to resign but on the agreed date refused to vacate her room. As a result, he

took some of her belongings from the room and tried to remove the lock so that she

could not lock herself inside the room.

He further said that his shirt was torn and fore-arm scratched in an attempt by the

woman to prevent him from removing the door lock.

A medical examination was carried out three days after the complaint was received

and French U.N. Civilian Police interviewed neighbors about the incident.

But neither yielded conclusive evidence, the UNTAC report said.

The UNTAC panel ruled that the Frenchman's behavior in throwing the woman's belongings

out of the room was inappropriate but that there was not enough evidence to prove

much else.

Copies of the panel's report were sent to UNTAC officials, local authorities, human

rights groups and NGOs.

Kien Serey Phal, president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Women's Association, assailed

the investigation.

"Of course they are going to say it was too late and the doctor could not identify

any proof.

"At the very least, this case should have been used to send a warning to UNTAC

personnel against abusing their powers," she said.

UNTAC officials declined to comment on the case saying the investigation had been

closed.

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