The family of a girl who was raped by a police officer in Preah Sihanouk province five years ago is calling on the court to imprison the perpetrator, who is still a free man despite having been convicted of the crime in April.
Father Yong Bunly, 52, said he and the rapist, immigration police officer Kang Sophat, 52, had been friends, and that Sophat had even taken care of his daughter since she was 3 years old.
In 2010, however, he found out Sophat had raped his daughter, who was 11 at the time, and immediately filed a complaint to the court.
Finally, after a nearly five-year slog through the courts, a conviction was handed down, yet Sophat, who was never arrested for the crime, is still allowed to walk free, Bunly said.
“The thing happened in 2010, and the court ruled on April 9, 2015, sentencing him to five years in prison and ordering him to pay $10,000 for compensation; but until now, the perpetrator still has his liberty, and the redress has yet to be paid, too,” he said.
Bunly said he had repeatedly visited the court to ask for the verdict to be implemented to no avail.
“I need them to complete [the verdict implementation], because I want to know whether or not he’s appealing,” he said. “And why isn’t he jailed? I really wonder about the law.”
“I would like the court to take action on its own verdict,” he added.
Neither provincial court president Mong Mony Chakrya, case clerk Tiet Samnang, nor Sophat himself could be reached for comment yesterday.
However, Bun Narith, provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, confirmed yesterday that the court had not issued an arrest warrant for Sophat, and called the case a clear-cut example of the impunity enjoyed by those with strong ties to the court system.
“This is because the suspect is a police officer working at the Preah Sihanouk provincial police station, and has a good relationship with the court officials, who have been obstructing justice for the victim for years,” he said.