Law and Order
A49-year-old man on Monday denied charges of raping a 5-year-old girl in Stung Hav district in 2009, telling Preah Sihanouk provincial court that police had forced him to confess to the crime. Iv Hok, 49, was arrested on December 28 following a complaint from the victim’s family.
Peng Maneth, a lawyer supplied for the victim by anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), said after the hearing that the accused told judges that his confession had been made under duress. “The defendant today didn’t confess to the rape allegations levelled against him during the trial. He blasted police officials who forced him to confess at the military police station, prosecutors and the investigating judge,” she said. She added that there was enough evidence to prove his guilt. But Chan Vannak, Iv Hok’s defence lawyer, said the charges should be dropped for lack of evidence. “There are no witnesses, and a doctor’s letter has also proved that the victim did not suffer any injuries,” he said.