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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mu Sochua persues rape case

Mu Sochua persues rape case

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Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua speaks to an audience in Daun Penh district on the 100th International Women’s Day earlier this week.

Opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua issued a letter on Wednesday to the Ministry of Justice, asking the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to open a case against two former police officers who allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman in 2009.

Oung Dara, then chief of the Intervention Department, and his deputy Chan Narith were arrested in November 2009 on allegations of raping the teenager at a Meanchey district karaoke bar. Both men were freed after giving the victim 500,000 riels (US$125) each, but were stripped of their positions.

Mu Sochua said in her letter the case had been delayed by more than nine months, and urged Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana and the Ministry of Interior to pursue legal action against the former officers.

She said yesterday that it was important to set a precedent against compensation payments being employed as an alternative to criminal prosecution.

“If the Ministry of Interior has the will, it must urge the court to proceed on this case quickly and must show justice for women,” she said.

“I do not want Prime Minister Hun Sen’s saliva to be unsalted. I say this because I want to help the prime minister.”

Sam Pracheameanith, cabinet chief of the Ministry of Justice, said he had not received Mu Sochua’s letter.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court officials could not be reached for comment yesterday by The Post.

The 19-year-old victim from Kampong Cham province was visiting her sister, who worked at the karaoke bar as a hostess girl, at the time of the incident.

Witness accounts said the two former police officers forcibly confined the victim in a private room, where she was helping to clear dishes.

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