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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Twist in legal fight

Twist in legal fight

AN arrest warrant on charges of illegal confinement against Naly Pilorge, acting

director of human rights NGO Licadho, was used by Asian Orphan's Association (AOA)

lawyer Chhit Boravuth in a separate custody battle over 12 orphans seized during

a September 3 raid.

The arrest warrant relates to a February case - in which AOA has no interest - when

Licadho intervened over a six-year-old girl who had been beaten and whipped with

electrical wire. Her adoptive mother later admitted to the crime. The woman filed

suit against Licadho to regain custody of the girl, but failed.

"Licadho proceeded in the best interests of the child, proceeded legally and

cooperated with all relevant authorities," Pilorge said.

AOA has been engaged in court action against Licadho on matters involving an adoption

case. Boravuth showed the document to the Post and admitted he produced a copy of

the summons during a custody hearing over the orphans October 15. He denied his actions

were improper.

Pilorge questioned why Boravuth even had a copy of the summons.

"I'm not sure why any person would have access to a confidential document for

an unrelated case. We intend to write to the president of the Bar Association about

this," Pilorge said.

Bun Honn, secretary-general of the Bar Association, said that while it was permissible

for Boravuth to have the document, it was unethical to show it to anyone outside

the court.

But the judge in the torture case, Kong Seth, disagreed with this assessment. "This

is illegal - that is not his duty. If there is a legal complaint against this, then

I will investigate it."

Licadho was awarded custody of the girl in the torture case in February. The decision

was later ratified by the municipal court and the Ministry of Social Affairs.



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