Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak motodop returns to work

Boeung Kak motodop returns to work

Boeung Kak motodop returns to work

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Motodop Nget Chet, photographed yesterday, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

A motodop at the centre of the high-profile case against imprisoned Boeung Kak lake villager Yorm Bopha has returned to work after receiving treatment for head injuries, he said yesterday.

Supporters of Nget Chet, 28, said during demonstrations last month that the motodop had been nearly brain damaged during an axe attack he blames on Bopha, 29, a well-known land activist.

Chet told the Post yesterday he had resumed his moto-taxi duties.

“I suffered a lot when I was attacked,” he said. “My nerves have been damaged and I’ve lost memory.”

Plain-clothed officers arrested Bopha and her husband, Luos Sakhorn, on September 4.

Bopha was charged with causing intentional violence over the alleged attack on Chet and his cousin Vath Thaiseng, 24, and ordered into pre-trial detention in Prey Sar prison.

When Borei Keila resident Tim Sakmony was arrested and charged over a separate incident the next day, rights groups accused the government of targeting activists.

Chet and Thaiseng said yesterday, however, that Bopha and her husband had ordered Bopha’s two brothers to attack the cousins after accusing them of stealing car mirrors.

They were not thieves, no one had pressured them to speak out and they had spent a combined $3,000 on medical treatment, they said.

Thaiseng added he was not working because he sold his motorbike to pay medical bills.

Bopha’s supporters maintained yesterday she had no involvement in the attack.

Multiple witnesses could verify this, Boeung Kak villager representative Tep Vanny claimed, adding many people believed Bopha had been set up. “Why would [authorities] order her into prison and release her husband?” she said.

“They told us it is so he can look after the children. It should be [Bopha] doing this.”

Bopha’s lawyer Horm Sunrith said he wanted the court to set a date and provide a fair trial.

“I put forward two important witnesses to the court. I ask them to ... question our witnesses,” he said.

Sunrith said Bopha had lost about five kilograms in prison.

“She’s only eating porridge,” he said. “She also has stomach and heart problems and difficulty breathing.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]
Phak Seangly at [email protected]

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