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Orphanage shut over child-sex allegations

An Orhanage in Siem Reap province was shut on Friday after allegations that its staff had molested child-ren in their care, a ministry spokesman said yesterday.

Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, alleged that staff at the Cambodia Orphan Fund had been sexually molesting children.

Orphanage director Nicholas Griffin had been arrested in October last year and charged with raping a child in 2007 after the ministry filed a complaint to the provincial court, Khieu Sopheak said.

Griffin was found guilty earlier this year. A Cambodian director, Chang Reaksmey, was found not guilty in 2009 of unlawfully removing  child-ren from the centre.

Chan Reaksmey said he could not understand why the organisation had been closed down, as Griffin had already been arrested and detained.

“It is an injustice for my NGO. The accusation is not related to me, because during that time [of the alleged crimes] I was detained in prison [awaiting trial],’’ he said.

“Nicholas Griffin raped the child in 2007 and this NGO was set up in 2009, so the crime is not connected to this NGO.”

Sorn Chey, from the rights group Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, said yesterday there were inconsistencies between the findings of the court and an investigation by the provincial governor into the Cambodia Orphan Fund.

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